getting screened in 2003 when he retired from the league.
“My dad died at 39. Another brother, he died in his mid-forties. And the other died in his late 40s, early 50s. So all that’s going through my mind. So absolutely, I’m getting checked out all the time,” he adds.
In 2016, @ShannonSharpe privately battled prostate cancer.
Today on FOX NFL Sunday, he shared his story:
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 18, 2022
Despite having a family history, the diagnosis was still somewhat of a shock for Sharpe, who has stayed in great health since his retirement.
“I felt fine. I was exercising, eating right, drinking plenty of water, no really bad habits or anything. I thought it was going to be routine,” Sharpe adds.
Like most professional athletes, Sharpe has experienced his fair share of injuries. “I’ve fractured my eye socket, broken my collar bone, dislocated my elbow. I tore a rib cartilage, separated both of my shoulders,” he shares.
But this diagnosis was different because there was nothing physical that he could feel to indicate that something was wrong.
“I felt normal. There was no transformation in my body, I didn’t lose weight. There was no pain, no nothing, and if you had just looked at me, I looked like the picture of health,” Sharpe adds.
For Sharpe, Janssen’s promotional opportunity was perfect. He always knew he wanted to share his story but struggled to find the right time to do so.
Now he has the opportunity to start the conversation about the importance of prostate screenings, especially for Black men, through Janssen Oncology’s Talk That Talk campaign.
“At the time, when you get diagnosed with something, the last thing on your mind [is] that Black men are two times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. At that time, I didn’t know if it was two times, five times, six times. What I want to do now is break down the stigma – do not be afraid to go to the doctor,” Sharpe says. “We need to give Black people more access to healthcare, and then once we get better access to healthcare, don’t be afraid to go use it. Do not be afraid to just ask questions of your doctor. Do not be afraid to get screened because it could save your life. Now they mentioned there’s a 96% survival rate if you get screened and it gets detected early. I’m a part of that 96%. See, I can speak this. I’m not a paid actor. I lived this. I’ve been there. I can tell you that this could save your life. Saved my life. I’m living proof.”
Should you get screened?
Thinking about getting screened? Have an open conversation with your doctor before making a decision, taking the following into consideration:
- If you have a family history of prostate cancer.
- If you are African American.
- If you have other medical conditions that may make it difficult for you to be treated for prostate cancer if it is found, or that may make you less likely to benefit from screening.
- How you value the potential benefits and harms of screening, diagnosis, and treatment.
Men who are 55 to 69 years old should make individual decisions about being screened for prostate cancer with a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, according to, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) made the following recommendations about prostate cancer screening.
Men who are 70 years old and older should not be screened for prostate cancer routinely.