Ben Stiller talks 'surreal' prostate cancer diagnosis, and the test that saved his life: 'It wasn't on my radar at all'

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Ben Stiller is opening up about his secret cancer battle two years ago.

Last month, the 50-year-old comedian revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer when he was 48 years old, and is now thankfully cancer-free. In a new interview alongside his surgeon on Tuesday, Stiller advocates for more men to take the PSA test -- a blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer -- which led to his own diagnosis.

"It's surreal," Stiller tells Today's Matt Lauer about getting the news that he had cancer. "It wasn't something I was thinking about. It wasn't on my radar at all. If it wasn't for this test, I don't think I would have had as easy a course of treatment or prognosis that I did have."

See photos of Ben Stiller through the years:

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Ben Stiller through the years
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Ben Stiller through the years
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 4: Jerry Stiller and Ben Stiller attend the performance of 'The Gin Game' on June 4, 1978 at the Martin Beck Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Ben Stiller And Sister Amy Stiller (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller, and Amy Stiller (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 93 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Ben Stiller, host Jay Leno on October 15, 1992 -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
Ben Stiller during 'Jennifer 8' Los Angeles Premiere at Academy Theater in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Ben Stiller (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
CULVER CITY, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Jeanne Tripplehorn and Ben Stiller attend DARE Benefit Party Honoring Richard Tyler on February 22, 1994 at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler during 1994 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore present the Viewer's Choice award at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
FLUSHING, NY - SEPTEMBER 7: Actor Ben Stiller and Jeniffer Capriati attend the 'Official US Open Men Singles Finals VIP Party' at the USTA National Tennis Center as part of the 2003 US Open September 7, 2003 in Flushing, New York. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Actor Ben Stiller and wife/actress Christine Taylor attend the 'Duplex' film premiere at the Beekman Theater September 18, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore and Director Danny DeVito (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson during 2004 Vanity Fair Oscar Party - Arrivals at Mortons in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 5: (U.S. TABS OUT) (from left to right) Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Snoop Dogg appear on stage during MTV's Total Request Live on March 5, 2004 at the MTV Times Square Studios, in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
Ben Stiller during Ben Stiller, Paris Hilton, and Lil' Jon Visit MTV's 'TRL' - June 15, 2004 at MTV Studios in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor during Alexandra Hedison's 'Elements' Photo Exhibition at White Room Gallery in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Ben Stiller during 'Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy' Premiere - Red Carpet at Mann's Grauman Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Lee Celano/WireImage for Hollywood Reporter)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: (ITALY OUT/NY DAILY NEWS OUT/NY NEWSDAY OUT) Actor Ben Stiller prepares to ride away on his bike after having dinner at Silvanos Restaurant in the Village February 16, 2005 in New York CIty. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ben Stiller during Opening Night Party for LAByrinth Theater Company's 'The Last Days of Judas Iscariot' at Marion's Continental Restaurant and Lounge in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
Ben Stiller, Meredith Estess, Christine Taylor and Valerie Estess (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage for PMK/HBH)
Ben Stiller, winner for Best Villian Award for 'DodgeBall' (Photo by J. Shearer/WireImage)
MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 9: (L-R) Actor Ben Stiller, actress Belen Rueda and actor Chris Rock attend the Spanish photocall for 'Madagascar' at Faunia June 9, 2005 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor during 2006 ESPY Awards - Backstage and Audience at Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. ***Exclusive*** (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Ben Stiller and Lance Armstrong during 2006 ESPY Awards - Show at Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller watch the semifinal match between Andy Roddick and Mikhail Youzhny at the 2006 US Open at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Queens, NY on September 9, 2006. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 07: Actors Christine Taylor and husband Ben Stiller arrive at the 11th annual Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation's Grand Slam benefit concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena October 7, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. All the money raised at the event goes to help underprivileged or abused children in the Las Vegas community. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller during 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival - 'Kabluey' Unofficial Party in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage)
Ben Stiller and Robin Williams during 'License To Wed' Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet at Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc for Variety Magazine)
MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 25: Actor Ben Stiller attends the 'Madagascar 2' premiere at Kinepolis Cinema on November 25, 2008 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
LONDON - NOVEMBER 23: Ben Stiller attends the UK Premiere of 'Madagascar Escape 2 Africa' at the Empire Leicester Square on November 23, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 30: Actor Ben Stiller speaks onstage at Spike TV's 2009 'Guys Choice Awards' held at the Sony Studios on May 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 18: Actress Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller arrive at the premiere of the ''Greenberg'' at the ArcLight Cinemas on March 18, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: (L-R) Ben Stiller, Donna Karan and Sean Penn attend the HELP HAITI benefiting The Ben Stiller Foundation and The J/P Haitian Relief Organization at the Urban Zen Center At Stephan Weiss Studio on February 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Actors Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor arrive at BAFTA Los Angeles 2011 Britannia Awards at The Beverly Hilton hotel on November 30, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For BAFTA Los Angeles)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Honoree Ben Stiller accepts the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy onstage at BAFTA Los Angeles 2011 Britannia Awards at The Beverly Hilton hotel on November 30, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For BAFTA Los Angeles)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 18: Actors Ben Stiller and Jessica Chastain attend the 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' Premiere during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2012 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Paramount)
(From L) Italian designer Giorgio Armani and US actor Ben Stiller arrive for an event to raise money for charities working in Haiti, at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 18, 2012 in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/GettyImages)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 13: Ben Stiller speaks on stage at Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs at The Beacon Theatre on October 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Ben Stiller speaks during The New Yorker Festival 2012 - Ben Stiller And Tad Friend at Directors Guild Theatre on October 6, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for The New Yorker)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Actor Ben Stiller leaves the 'Live With Kelly And Michael' taping at the ABC Lincoln Center Studios on October 16, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Honoree Ben Stiller accepts award onstage during the 26th American Cinematheque Award Gala honoring Ben Stiller at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Actors Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, and Woopie Goldberg look on during the New York Knicks against the Boston Celtics during Game five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 1, 2013 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Actor Ben Stiller attends 'Frances Ha' New York Premiere at MOMA on May 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Ben Stiller filming on location for 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' on May 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
Actor Ben Stiller removes his hands from the cement as he is honored with the traditional hand and footprint ceremony, December 3, 2013 outside the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California. Stiller stars in the upcoming film 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' which opens in the US on December 25. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
TAORMINA, ITALY - JUNE 19: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Ben Stiller attends a portrait session during the 60th Taormina Film Fest on June 19, 2014 in Taormina, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS -- 'Ben Stiller' Episode 104 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bear Grylls, Ben Stiller -- (Photo by: Duncan Gaudin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TAORMINA, ITALY - JUNE 19: Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor attend the 60th Taormina Film Fest on June 19, 2014 in Taormina, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
TAORMINA, ITALY - JUNE 19: Actor Ben Stiller attends the 60th Taormina Film Festival on June 18, 2014 in Taormina, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images for Maserati)
PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 29: (L-R) Director and Actor Ben Stiller, Actors Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Justin Theroux attend the 'Zoolander 2' Paris Photocall at Hotel Plaza Athenee on January 29, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26: Ben Stiller and Heidi Klum attend the Sydney Fan Screening Event of the Paramount Pictures film 'Zoolander No. 2' at the State Theatre on January 26, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Ben Stiller attends a London Fan Screening of the Paramount Pictures film 'Zoolander No. 2' at Empire Leicester Square on February 4, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Ben Stiller (L) and Owen Wilson attend a Fashionable Screening of the Paramount Pictures film 'Zoolander No. 2' at Empire Leicester Square on February 4, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Ben Stiller -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Actor Ben Stiller and comedian Mike Birbiglia pose for a photo together during 'Mike Birbiglia: Thank God For Jokes' Opening Night at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre on February 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Mike Birbiglia)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Actors Ben Stiller (L) and Christine Taylor attend the 'Zoolander 2' World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on February 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2016/09/16: Actor Ben Stiller, a UNHCR supporter, addresses the General Assembly. Three days before the opening of the United Nations high-level Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees (September 19), Actor Ben Stiller and former refugee celebrities presented a petition from the #WithRefugees campaign to the UN. On behalf of the UN, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi participated in the event. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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WATCH: Ben Stiller Reveals He Was Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer, Talks Test That 'Saved' His Life

Stiller reveals he underwent an operation to remove his prostate and is now doing "great." As for any apprehension about potential side effects, like problems with urination or sexual function, he says the decision was still an easy one.

"When you're confronted with the question of, 'Hey, do you want to live, or do you want to make sure your sex life is the best it can be?,' I opted for wanting to see what happens, and luckily everything's cool," he explains.

Lauer also asks the Zoolander star -- who's been married to actress Christine Taylor since 2000 -- if he has had to personally deal with any side effects, and Stiller's sense of humor remains intact.

"Yeah, but I'm doing good -- all good," he says with a thumbs up and a big laugh.

Most importantly, Stiller is aiming to raise awareness for the PSA test by opening up about his own life-changing experience. The PSA test -- which measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood -- is controversial given that prostate cancer is a common cancer in men, but not everybody who gets prostate cancer will die from it, Stiller's surgeon explains. Some argue that a test would elevated results would lead to unnecessary biopsies, or additional tests, which could cause anxiety for the patient.

But Stiller maintains that more testing should be done.

"If it was up to me, I would say every guy should get tested after the age of 40, 45, especially if you have a family history,'" he says. "If I hadn't taken this test, I wouldn't have known."

NEWS: Black Eyed Peas' Taboo Reveals Secret Battle With Cancer

Last month, the father of two wrote a blog post on Medium about battling "mid-range aggressive" prostate cancer, and stressed how fortunate he was to get an early diagnosis.

"As I learned more about my disease (one of the key learnings is not to Google 'people who died of prostate cancer' immediately after being diagnosed with prostate cancer), I was able to wrap my head around the fact that I was incredibly fortunate," Stiller wrote. "Fortunate because my cancer was detected early enough to treat. And also because my internist gave me a test he didn't have to."

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