Athlete turned television host Shannon Sharpe has revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016. After a private recovery battle, the 54-year-old is cancer free. Now Sharpe wants to help other men find the courage to get tested, “What I want to do now is break down the stigma – do not be afraid to go to the doctor,” he told People.
Sharpe has emphasised the importance of early detection. He explained that a history of cancer in his family and studies showing that Black men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer led to him being screened regularly after he retired from professional sports. He said early detection “possibly saved my life.”
In an interview with People, Sharpe described the surprise of being diagnosed, “I’ve fractured my eye socket, broken my collar bone, dislocated my elbow. I tore a rib cartilage, separated both of my shoulders. Those are things you can feel… when I was diagnosed, I felt normal. There was no transformation in my body, I didn’t lose weight. There was no pain, no nothing.”
Prostate cancer often has no symptoms, meaning that regular testing is the key to detecting the cancer early. Prostate cancer can be cured when it is treated in its early stages. “Black men are two times more likely to develop prostate cancer, but there’s a 96% survival rate if tested early and detected early. I’m part of that 96%.” He told NFL on Fox.
Despite retiring NFL almost 20 years ago, Sharpe still looks like a picture of health. Earlier this year the TV host shared his toned physique in celebration of his 54th birthday.
The front & back of your favorite Unc celebrating his 54th bday. Yes, unc turned 54 today. Had I not told you my age. You prob wouldn’t have guessed it. Now that I’m telling you, you prob don’t believe it. Happy Bday to everyone celebrating a bday today & Cancer’s rule the world. pic.twitter.com/lxbGNyMGGl— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) June 26, 2022
Sharpe won 3 Super Bowls over his 14-year NFL career and his legendary trash-talk has made him an NFL icon. He was the first tight end to amass 10,000 receiving yards and finished his career as the NFL’s all time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns by a tight end. He was named to the 1990s All-Decade NFL Team and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
September is international prostate cancer awareness month. This year, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) is asking Australians to get involved in helping create awareness. Although 1 in 6 Australian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, only 36% of prostate cancers are detected in the early stages, when the disease can be treated. The PCFA wants all men over 40 years of age to talk to their doctor about testing for prostate cancer.
Early symptoms of prostate cancer can include pain during urination, sudden erectile dysfunction, frequent urination, blood in urine or semen and difficulty stopping or starting urination. Although often there are no symptoms at all, this is why it’s so important to get regularly tested.
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in Australia, but it can be cured when detected early. 96% of cases that are detected early survive, as cancerous cells are more likely to respond to treatment.
Doctors aren’t certain what causes prostate cancer, although they generally agree that diet is a contributing factor. Men who consume large amounts of fat, particularly from red meat, are more at risk of developing prostate cancer. Excessive consumption of fats increases testosterone production, which stimulates dormant cancer cells and accelerates the growth of prostate cancer.
The two most common tests to detect prostate cancer are the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal examination. Digital rectal examinations are typically only performed when you are showing early signs of prostate cancer.