McKellen reveals he has prostate cancer

Actor has had the disease for 'six or seven years'

Sir Ian McKellen has revealed that he's been battling prostate cancer for 'six or seven years'.

But the revered 73-year-old actor says that he is living with his disease and that it is 'no big deal'.

[Related story: McKellen broke down over Hobbit green screen scenes]

“You do gulp when you hear the news. It's like when you go for an HIV test, you go 'arghhh is this the end of the road?'” he said.

“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.

“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,” he added.

“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."

But McKellen has said that it's not the only ailment he's having to deal with, thanks to his advancing years.

“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. I am absolutely fine thank you very much!”

McKellen is reprising his role as Gandalf in 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey', due out on December 14.