*NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe has revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but is now in remission. The 54-year-old opened up about his health journey on “FOX NFL Sunday,” saying that detecting the disease early may have been what ultimately saved his life.
His decision to speak out comes after he was approached by pharmaceutical company Janssen to take part in their campaign to encourage men — particularly Black men — to take regular tests for prostate cancer, which is the most commonly diagnosed illness in men of color.
While Janssen was not aware that Sharpe had been diagnosed with prostate cancer when they asked him to partner with them, he says the opportunity ultimately allowed him to help raise awareness on a serious health matter that has already caused the death of his father and other family members.
When asked by Fox co-host Curt Menefee if he was cancer-free now, Sharpe replied, “I am cancer-free right now and I feel so good.”
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Wait. There’s more …
Sharpe, who has two daughters and one son, will become a grandfather in 2023, PEOPLE reports.
“I’m going to be a pawpaw!” The future “pawpaw” tells PEOPLE he’s excited to give his son “a little dose of his own medicine” as a grandparent.
“When you get the kid back, the kid isn’t going to be the same as when you brought them to us because I’m probably going to let them do a little bit more than you did. I remember the way you behaved when you were with me,” he laughs. “I’m going to let him jump on the bed! I’m going to let him be a kid.”
From a health standpoint, Sharpe is partnering with Janssen Oncology’s Talk That Talk to help start the conversation about prostate cancer screening that will help to eradicate health inequity in prostate cancer.
The report goes on to note that Sharpe’s own experience opened his eyes to an alarming statistic showing the disparities between cancer diagnoses among different races.
“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.”