Actor and comedian Billy Connolly announced Monday that he recently underwent surgery to treat prostate cancer. He also has early signs of Parkinson’s disease.
Connolly, 70, had his prostate cancer surgery in the U.S. According to a statement on his website, the cancer was in its early stages, and the famed comic has fully recovered from the surgery.
Connolly is also reportedly receiving treatment for the initial symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
“Billy has been assured by experts that the findings will in no way inhibit or affect his ability to work, and he will start filming a TV series in the near future, as well as undertaking an extensive theatrical tour of New Zealand in the new year,” according to a statement on his website.
Connolly has been active in music, comedy, television, and film since the 1970s, with notable roles in movies such as Indecent Proposal, The Boondock Saints, and Disney/Pixar’s Brave. He plays a dwarf warrior in the final two installments of The Hobbit film series.
In 2003, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) presented him with a lifetime achievement award.
Other famous men who have coped with Parkinson’s disease include actor Michael J. Fox, musician Johnny Cash, and boxer Muhammad Ali.
Prostate Cancer and Parkinson’s: The Risks for Older Men
Prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease are two serious health concerns for men in Connolly’s age group.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Parkinson’s affects up to one million people worldwide. It is most common in white men, and men are one-and-a-half times more likely to develop it than women. While symptoms can begin as early as age 40, they’re most common in men ages 55 and up.
Symptoms of the earliest stages of Parkinson’s include hand tremors, muscle stiffness, and other movement difficulties exclusive to one side of the body, which can be managed with medication, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer facing men in the U.S. Prognosis is often quite good since the disease often progresses slowly and can be treated surgically.
Early signs of prostate cancer often appear as urinary, excretory, or sexual problems.