Save The Tatas: ‘Shaft’ Star Richard Roundtree Says He Was “In The Closet For Years” About Male Breast Cancer Diagnosis

- By Bossip Staff

Rick Ross, we hope you are checking them thangs… Men can suffer breast cancer too! ‘Shaft’ star Richard Roundtree is actually finally speaking out about surviving the disease.

According to National Enquirer reports:

RICHARD ROUNDTREE the iconic star of “Shaft” had male breast cancer BUT is still one “bad Mother”.

Roundtree who defined “bad a$$ery” in the 1971 film classic “Shaft” has no trouble relating to women — especially their struggle with breast cancer.

Back in 1993, Roundtree discovered a lump — in his right breast.

“The doctor told me, ‘You have breast cancer,'” recalled Roundtree. “I heard the cancer part first — it was only later that I heard the breast part. I couldn’t believe it.”

Roundtree found the lump while filming a movie in Costa Rica.

“It just didn’t feel right,” he said. “I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, so I decided to get it checked out when I was back in L.A.”

For years after his diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, Roundtree kept his mouth shut about his status as a cancer survivor.

“I was in the closet, so to speak, until after the fifth year when I was cancer free,” he says.

While at a celebrity golf tournament to raise money for a mobile breast cancer diagnostic unit, Roundtree decided to let fly, “I just got up and told everybody that I was a breast cancer survivor. The room was totally silent. I think it dawned on people that men can be affected by this, too.”

Male breast cancer comprises only 1 percent of all breast cancer cases — not a surprising figure, since men’s bodies contain only about 1 percent of the breast tissue found in women.

According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, 1,400-1,600 men will be diagnosed with the disease, and nearly 400 men will die from it.

Roundtree was fortunate to catch his cancer early. He underwent chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and a mastectomy.

Roundtree said the worst part about having male breast cancer was his inability to tell anyone but his family. He hid the illness from the entertainment industry for fear that it would prevent him from working.

“No insurance company would insure me if they found out,’ Roundtree divulged. “And in order to work on a film, you need the stamp of approval from an insurance company. So unfortunately I had to keep it a secret.”

We’re glad he made a full recovery. Would you have been able to keep such a big secret?


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