A sports analyst and former Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe revealed on Sunday that he battled prostate cancer secretly in 2016 and is now cancer free.
In 2016, @ShannonSharpe privately battled prostate cancer.
Today on FOX NFL Sunday, he shared his story:
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 18, 2022
Sharpe appeared on FOX NFL Sunday and told his story in light of Prostate Cancer Awareness month. He opened up about how cancer runs in his family—his father and other male relatives died from cancers, prompting Sharpe to get screened.
Sharpe said he was diagnosed with prostate cancer a month before he was supposed to migrate to Los Angeles for a job with FS1, a difficult time for him.
He emphasized that prostate cancer was silent because he “felt fine” when he went in for screening.
“I felt fine. I was exercising, eating right, drinking plenty of water, and no really bad habits or anything. I thought it was going to be routine,” the former football player said. “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…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.”
The former football player was scared about missing out on important events like his dad, who died in his late 30s. Now that he’s cancer-free, Sharpe wants to pay it forward by educating the masses about how crucial it is to get screened, especially for Black men.
A CDC report showed that Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer and twice as likely to die from it. Those with a family history of prostate cancer have a higher risk of getting it and should get checked out by a doctor.
“What I want to do now is break down the stigma – do not be afraid to go to the doctor,” Sharpe explained to PEOPLE. “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.”
Now that he’s cancer-free, the former NFL footballer can enjoy the fact that he’s about to be a grandfather in 2023.