Sir Ian McKellen Has Prostate Cancer

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Sir Ian McKellen has revealed he has been battling prostate cancer | Getty Images

Sir Ian Mckellen has opened up about his secret prostate cancer fight.

The Lord of the Rings legend has lived with the disease for the past "six or seven years", but admits he hasn't undergone any form of treatment.

Instead the 73-year-old regularly visits his GP for thorough testing to ensure it hasn't spread.

He told The Mirror, "You do gulp when you hear the news. It's like when you go for an HIV test, you go, 'Argh, is this the end of the road?' They say you have cancer of the prostate and then that you can have it zapped.

"You can have it snipped but you are not a candidate for that. You are 'waitful watching'.

"I've had it for six or seven years, when you have got it you monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn't spread. But if it is contained in the prostate, it's no big deal.

"Many, many men die from it but it's one of the cancers that is totally treatable so I have 'waitful watching'. I am examined regularly and it's just contained, it's not spreading. I've not had any treatment.

"You are told what the situation is: you can have an operation but there is no point me having an operation because there is no need for it.

"They are concerned about the cancer spreading outside the prostate. If it doesn't you are fine. How do you know if it is spreading? You keep being tested."

Sir Ian is also battling vision and hearing problems, but insists he still feels in good nick for his age - due to his love of Pilates.

He added: "I just got hearing aids, I am going to have a cataract removed from my eyes, I am having an implant in my mouth, I am dealing with the prostate... (But) I am absolutely fine, thank you very much!

"I am lucky, I don't have aches and pains. I do Pilates regularly which is a series of stretching exercises and I recommend it to anyone of my age because the temptation is not to exercise when you get older.

"Well, you should. I always walk up the escalator on the Tube and I live in a house with a lot of stairs. That's good exercise."