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Shannon Sharpe is working to help break down the stigma of prostate cancer by revealing his own 2016 diagnosis.

Shannon Sharpe On the red carpet

Source: (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic) / (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Shannon Sharpe is the co-host of FS1’s Undisputed with Skip Bayless blessing our tv screens every morning with the hottest sports takes in all the land. Sharpe became a talk show host after a very successful career in the NFL that resulted in his prestigious Hall Of Fame induction in 2011. Now Shannon Sharpe is opening up about that period in his life when he joined the talk show and hid a cancer diagnosis at the start of his hosting career.

Shanon Sharpe Speaks On The Stigma Surrounding Prostate Cancer

On a Thursday afternoon in 2016, Shannon Sharpe went in for a routine screening and found out he had prostate cancer. This was right before he was scheduled to move to Los Angeles to join Skip Bayless for their new show where he’d become one of the first former athletes entrusted with the talk show title.

According to PEOPLE, the NFL Hall of Famer made the difficult decision to not tell anyone about the diagnosis.

“I had been wanting this job for so long and I had been given an opportunity that Skip believed in me. I was going to be a co-host of a daily debate show that we talked about football, basketball, track and field, golf, tennis, social issues, I was the first athlete to do what I do full-time.”

“I didn’t want this opportunity to go away because I wanted to show that athletes could do more than talk about their best sports. I felt that there were a lot of people counting on me to be able to go fulfill this obligation that I had been given.”

Later Shannon says he told his brother, sister, and girlfriend, at the time but didn’t want to worry anyone else like his children. After losing his father and grandfather young, Sharpe always did routine exams which can help catch the cancer that has a 96% survivability rate when detected early. Shannon is now partnering with Janssen Oncology’s Talk That Talk to help start the conversation about prostate cancer screening and hopefully eradicate health inequity in prostate cancer.

“What I want to do now is break down the stigma – do not be afraid to go to the doctor,” says Sharpe. “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.”

With the partnership, Shannon is hoping to give resources and tools to others so that they can be around to see their grandkids like he will be doing soon thanks to early detection.

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