TV legend Ed Asner bringing his prostate & one-man show to Rochester

May 28, 2019

TV legend Ed Asner is bringing his comedic talents to the Rochester JCC's Center Stage on June 29 and 30 when he stars in the one-man show "A Man and His Prostate."

The 89-year-old is a winner of eight Emmy Awards and perhaps best known for his portrayal of the gruff but lovable Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the 1970s.

"A Man and His Prostate" is based on a true story in which playwright Ed Weinberger suffered from a painful condition known as prostatitis while on vacation in Italy. Asner calls the show "part comedy, part public service announcement," as it tries to raise awareness about prostate cancer, which claimed the lives of nearly 29,000 men in the U.S. in 2015.

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear Asner discuss the play, his friendships with "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" co-stars, and his upcoming role in "God Help Us" at the Rochester JCC from Sept. 19 through 22.

Information about prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among American men.  The disease typically grows slowly, and although it is most common in men who are older than 65, Dr. Jean Joseph, a urologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said it is not exclusively an elderly person's disease.

"The youngest I've seen is a 41-year-old man," he said. "We see folks in their 40s and 50s -- young men at the prime of their life being diagnosed with prostate cancer."

If caught early, there is usually a good prognosis for patients. The problem is, many men don't have symptoms at that stage.

When symptoms do show up, they can include blood in the urine or semen, difficulty urinating, frequent urination, painful urination, and chronic pain the back, hips or pelvis.

Joseph said screening is recommended starting at age 50, or earlier for men who have a family history of the disease.  He says African American men with a family history of prostate cancer should start screening at age 45.

There is no conclusive evidence about any potential causes of prostate cancer, Joseph said.

"With the lack of preventive methodology, we have to raise awareness, improve treatment and continue research," he said.