Robert De Niro won battle with prostate cancer

The unmistakeable Robert De Niro

Revered actor, Rober De Niro, discovered that he had prostate cancer in October 2003 after a regular health check at his doctor’s. The Raging Bull star’s prognosis looked good from the beginning, his doctors praising his efforts to keep in good health, both physically and mentally.

His representative, Stan Rosenfield, stated back then: “Doctors say the condition was detected at an early stage because of regular check-ups. Because of the early detection and his excellent physical condition, doctors project a full recovery.”

Though declining to comment on the then 60-year-old’s condition or course of treatment, Rosenfield did say that the actor was undeterred by the disease and fully intended to press ahead with filming his new movie Hide and Seek.

Obviously, things will need to be postponed a little bit.” Was the follow up comment from the De Niro camp.

Robert De Niro in his younger days

Robert De Niro in his younger days

The actor made a full recovery after a course of treatment and some minor surgery but out of the 221,000 men diagnosed with the disease in the US every year, 29,000 are not so lucky. The disease has also been said to raise the risk of committing suicide.

Though saved by his doctors the multiple Academy Award winner isn’t keen on any form of unnecessary surgery. He recently and wisely called upon his contemporaries to steer away from cosmetic surgery and allow the natural ageing process to occur instead. He commended actress Meryl Streep for not going under the knife and told Britain’s The Times magazine that he would not have any procedures himself.

De Niro told the publication: “(Surgery) is so transparent. If you’re doing a younger part in a story, say 15, 20 years younger, the audience will accept that, and you can do it in a very real way. But to do it for yourself? I was reading something about Meryl Streep, and Meryl was describing how she doesn’t do any of that stuff, and that’s great. Getting old is a natural thing. And you’d better embrace it, ‘cos you’ve got no choice.“

Stars call for Iranian leaders to free Sanikeh Ashtiani

In the wake of an international outcry over the stoning to death of Sakineh Ashtiani, celebrities such as Sting, Robert Redford and Robert De Niro have added their signatures to an open letter calling for the Iranian government to release Ashtiani.  She is accused of adultery which in Iran is punishable by stoning to death, but many people the world over wish to see an end to the barbaric practise.

The Iranian woman Sakineh Ashtiani, was implicated in the murder of her former husband, a crime for which she served 10 years in prison.  Her eldest son, Sajad Ghaderzade, asked for the world’s help when the Iranian government, after pressure from other humanitarian groups, changed the reasons for her proposed stoning, stating it was because of her involvement with her husband’s murder – a crime for which she’d already been punished.

The Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are under even more pressure to release Sanikeh now as the eyes of the world are opening to the story.

A letter published on the front page of The Times newspaper reads: “We, the undersigned, call on the government of Iran to release immediately Ms Ashtiani, her son Sajad Ghaderzade, and her lawyer, Javid Houtan Kian, from incarceration.”

Mia Farrow and Juliette Binoche have also signed the petition.

The barbaric nature of the punishment is one thing, but the unfairness of stoning is unforgivable.  As the law states, all subjects are allowed to go free if they escape from the hole in which they are buried, but men are only buried to their waste, whereas women are buried up to their necks.

Authorities have ignored the escape ruling in many cases and people (mainly women) who have successfully freed themselves have been dragged back and stoned to death or shot on sight.

In one case that happened on August 10th, 1994, in the city of Arak, a woman was sentenced to death by stoning. Not only were her husband and children forced to watch the horrific act, but part way through the stoning she escaped, despite having lost both eyes. She was recaptured and shot to death by guards.

The act of stoning is supposedly carried out in the name of Islam, but the Quran and the Prophet of Islam are strongly opposed to such behaviour. Indeed the Prophet’s work was to eradicate such barbarism and create a society where people were treated equally and women were no longer victimised.

Should international human rights laws be set for all countries to follow? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Images: jeffweintraub.blogspot.com, babble.com

Robert De Niro survived prostate cancer

Acclaimed actor Rober De Niro found out he had prostate cancer in October 2003 after a regular check-up. The Raging Bull star’s prognosis looked good from the beginning, as doctors praised his efforts to keep in good health.

According to People magazine, his representative, Stan Rosenfield, stated back then: “Doctors say the condition was detected at an early stage because of regular checkups. Because of the early detection and his excellent physical condition, doctors project a full recovery.”

Though declining to comment on the then 60-year-old’s condition or course of treatment, Rosenfield did say that the actor still intended to film his new movie Hide and Seek.

He added, however: “Obviously, things will need to be postponed a little bit.”

Robert De Niro defeated prostate cancer

Thankfully, Robert De Niro made a full recovery after a course of treatment and some surgery. But out of the 221,000 men diagnosed with the disease in the US every year, 29,000 are not so lucky, People magazine claims. The disease has also been said to raise the risk of committing suicide.

Though saved by doctors, the multiple Academy Award winner is not a fan of unnecessary surgery. He recently called upon his contemporaries to shun cosmetic surgery and allow the natural aging process to take place. He commended actress Meryl Streep for not going under the knife and told Britain’s The Times magazine that he would not have any procedures himself, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

De Niro told the publication: “(Surgery) is so transparent. If you’re doing a younger part in a story, say 15, 20 years younger, the audience will accept that, and you can do it in a very real way. But to do it for yourself? I was reading something about Meryl Streep, and Meryl was describing how she doesn’t do any of that stuff, and that’s great. Getting old is a natural thing. And you’d better embrace it, ‘cos you’ve got no choice.“

Other celebrities who have suffered from prostate cancer include Andrew Lloyd Webber, Dennis Hopper, Charlton Heston and Jeff Jarvis.

Images: David Shankbone and Petr Novak, Wikimedia Commons