Tommy Chong, part of the legendary comedic duo Cheech and Chong, has announced that he's battling prostate cancer. 


The 74-year-old said on CNN Saturday that the disease is a "slow stage one," with the symptoms first appearing some eight years ago. Chong says he received an official diagnosis last month — and has been fighting back by ingesting hemp oil. 


"I've got prostate cancer, and I'm treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis," Chong said. "So [legalizing marijuana] means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested."


The comedian added that he first started having prostate-related problems during a three-year period while he was drug-free. "So I know it had nothing to do with cannabis," he said. "Cannabis is a cure."


Chong is the second recent celebrity to announce a battle with prostate cancer following Ryan O'Neal in April. The disease is the number one non-skin cancer in men, affecting some 18 percent of men in 2005. The best ways to reduce your risk of the disease are to eat less meat, consume more fruits and vegetables, drink green tea, increase physical activity and maintain a healthy weight. To learn more, check out this helpful list from the Mayo Clinic.


Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Tommy Chong battling prostate cancer
Comedian says he was diagnosed last month and that the disease is in the early stages.