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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Talks About 2009 Cancer Diagnosis for 1st Time to Highlight Health Care Disparities (Watch)

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar opens up about his private battle with prostate cancer on “Good Morning America” – Dec 14, 2020

*For the first time, NBA icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is opening up about his private battle with prostate cancer since being diagnosed 11 years ago, hoping to shed light on the health challenges facing Black people.

In an essay for WebMD, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer revealed that he’s had prostate cancer, leukemia and heart bypass surgery. Abdul-Jabbar wrote that while he’s received some of the best medical attention over the years as an NBA star, he’s aware of how others in the Black community do not.

In his essay, Abdul-Jabbar pointed out that some of the health issues Black people are prone to as a group include diabetes, heart problems, obesity and cancer. African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial group for all cancers combined, and have higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease than other groups, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. The trend continues with COVID-19, which Abdul-Jabbar highlighted in his essay.

“We’re at a crossroads here,” Abdul-Jabbar told “Good Morning America” in an interview about his op-ed. “People are either going to take health care seriously and promote it and support it, or people will be struggling, and we want to end the struggling. We want people to be well.”

Watch his GMA interview below:

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