Ryan O’Neal, longtime love interest of the late Farrah Fawcett and father of former child-star Tatum, has revealed recently that he has been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer.
In a statement to People magazine on Friday, the 70-year-old Love Storyactor said:
“Although I was shocked and stunned by the news, I feel fortunate that it was detected early and according to my extraordinary team of doctors the prognosis is positive for a full recovery.”
He then added:
“I am deeply grateful for the support of my friends and family during this time, and I urge everyone to get regular check-ups, as early detection is the best defense against this horrible disease that has afflicted so many.”
The NY Post points out that this is not O’Neal’s first time dealing with a cancer diagnosis – in 2001 Ryan was treated for leukemia, and eventually went into remission five years later.
O’Neal also stayed by Fawcett’s side as she waged a public battle with anal cancer, passing away in 2009 at age 62.
Following Ryan O’Neal’s cancer announcement, fans took to the actor’s Facebook to offer words of encouragement and hope.
“Stay positive and bring in the energy of the Universe!! ♥ Hugs!” one fan wrote, while many chimed in “Stay strong.”
O’Neal responded to the outpouring of love on Monday, writing, “Thank you for all the kind words and the prayers,” “I will be fighting and every bit counts.”
According to WebMD, treatments for stage 4 prostate cancer include hormone therapy, external beam radiation plus hormone therapy, and surgery (TURP) to relieve symptoms such as bleeding or urinary obstruction.
In addition to preparing for his battle with cancer, Ryan O’Neal is getting ready to release “Book of Us: My Life with Farrah,” a memoir detailing his relationship with Fawcett.