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William Shatner's Health Issues Include 'Terminal Disease' That Turned Out to Be a Misdiagnosis

Laura Beatham
Feb 15, 2022
07:20 A.M.
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"Star Trek" star William Shatner's wife received falsely positive results that concluded she had cervical cancer, which ended up mirroring his own experiences with a misdiagnosis. 


Movie and TV show legend William Shatner is 90 years old and is as lively as ever. The "Star Trek" star lives a busy and active life, which he hopes will stop his death from happening any time soon. 

Shatner has been outspoken about his beliefs about death and how to live life to the fullest, sparked by his experiences with fatalities and a terrible misdiagnosis. 

William Shatner pictured during an 2018 interview on KTLA 5 | Photo: YouTube/KTLA 5


In 2015, Shatner shared incredible insight to Men's Health about improving one's life. He explained he was inspired after reading about a young girl dying of cancer who would not believe it. 

Instead of wallowing about her prognosis, the young girl devoted herself to doing admirable things for the people around her. The story gave Shatner a different perspective on life:

"It's a good idea to take off the rose-colored glasses and go, "Yes, I'm going to die.” It might not be today. It might not be tomorrow. But you will die. So what are you going to do before that?"


In 2016, Shatner could relate to the anecdote even more as he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Even worse, after doing a PSA test, the doctor told him he had an aggressive form of cancer. 

Later, after doing his research, Shatner found a connection between testosterone (he was regularly taking hormone supplements) and prostate cancer. So after talking to his doctor, he stopped taking them. 


Three months later, he did the test again, and the PSA result had gone down from ten to one, meaning he did not have cancer. The testosterone had elevated his PSA level, which led to a misdiagnosis. 

Although Shatner did not have cancer, the experience changed him. For three months, he lived with a death sentence, and it made him revalue his life. Shatner later wrote it helped him discover a secret to living a good long life:

"Don't die. That’s it; that’s the secret. Simply keep living and try not to slow down."


The "Boston Legal" star has not slowed down. He had many things keeping him busy, including his professional life, his family life (he has 15 children and grandchildren), and he leads a very active lifestyle. 

In 2021, he starred in the movie "Senior Moment" with Christoper Lloyd and Jean Smart. He has no plans on retiring, as he told Men's Health that he will always say yes to any opportunity in life. 

When he is not working, Shatner keeps himself busy with horse riding. He also regularly competed in various competitions way into his eights. The actor owns a farm, "Belle Reve," near  Versailles, Kentucky. 

When he is out of the saddle, Shatner gets his exercise in by swimming in his heated pool, running on the spot for 30 minutes, and doing upper and lower body exercises. 


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