Sir Ian McKellen is opening up for the first time about battling prostate cancer.
The 73-year-old star -- who reprises his role as Gandalf the Grey in the new film The Hobbit -- told Britain's Daily Mirror that he's been dealing with prostate cancer for at least six years.
McKellen said the cancer diagnosis was not a death sentence because his disease has been adequately controlled. "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."
McKellen said that after the diagnosis his doctors determined there was no need for surgery in his case because the cancer was successfully contained. "What they are concerned about is if the cancer is going to spread outside the prostate. If it doesn't you are fine," he said. "How do you know if it is spreading? You keep being tested."
He added that early detection is the key to beating prostate cancer. "Many, many die from it, but it's one of the cancers that is totally treatable, so I have 'wasteful watching.' I am examined regularly and it's just contained, it's not spreading. I've not had any treatment."