UPDATE: Good news! It turns out Ian McKellen doesn't have cancer, after all.
"He does not have prostate cancer … That was taken out of context and from an interview from years ago," the actor's agent Chris Andrews told ABCNews.com.
As the wizard Gandalf in "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," Sir Ian McKellen has battled some of the deadliest foes imaginable on the big screen, from the Balrog to Smaug to Sauron himself. But in real life, McKellen is waging and even more important battle, as the beloved actor revealed yesterday that he has prostate cancer.
"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," McKellen said according to Yahoo! Movies. "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," McKellen continued. "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," he added. "If it doesn't, you are fine. How do you know if it is spreading? You keep being tested."
At 73 years of age, though, McKellen counts the cancer as just another sign of getting older.
"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," He said. "I am absolutely fine thank you very much!"
Who says superheroes aren't real?
(Originally published on Dec. 11, 2012, at 10:33 a.m. ET)