The Today Show has always made health awareness an important mission, and Thursday morning Matt Lauer and Al Roker made a big move to promote prostate cancer awareness, live on TV. The Today hosts underwent prostate exams Thursday morning on the show.
The show obviously does all they can to boost ratings, but also knows the power it has to create awareness for lifesavings tests and procedures. Katie Couric underwent a colonoscopy live on the air 13 years ago. Her husband had died from colon cancer only a couple of years before, and the move likely saved lives. According to USA Today, health advocates call it "the Katie Effect."
Lauer and Roker's exams only took about 35 seconds each, and were done by Lauer's doctor David Samadi.
Roker said the exam is "not comfortable. But it's certainly, obviously do-able."
Lauer disagreed, saying the possible lives the exam can save far outweighs any discomfort it can cause.
"It doesn't hurt at all," he explained. "Is it the best 34 seconds of your life? Probably not. But if in 34 seconds a (doctor) can detect something that might save your life, what are we talking about?"
Former co-host Meredith Vieira wished her former colleagues well through Twitter Thursday morning.
Good luck today Matt and Al...two of my favorite pains in the butt! Hope it inspires guys everywhere to take care of their health— Meredith Vieira (@meredithvieira) November 7, 2013
Though the NBC staff made light of the situation — Hoda Kotb said, "We came to watch The Prostate Movie!" — they all know it is a serious disease and wanted to make sure the information and awareness for prostate cancer is out there.
"What's important also is to know whether there is any family history, anybody else that has prostate cancer, so you can put all this information (together)," Samadi explained. "And then you decide whether we're going to go for a biopsy or not."
According to USA Today, about one in six men will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime — making it one of the most common cancers in men.
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