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September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. And three-time Super Bowl champ and sports analyst Shannon Sharpe recently shared that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2016. But the 54-year-old retired tight end is now cancer-free, and so he took some time during this weekend to say he would partner with Janssen Pharmaceuticals for their “Talk That Talk” campaign.

“At the time they asked me to do it they had no idea I had been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer,” Sharpe said during yesterday’s airing of Fox NFL Sunday. “There’s a 96 percent survival rate if screened early and detected early. I’m a part of that 96 percent.”

The co-host of Skip and Shannon: Undisputed also revealed that his father succumbed to cancer at 39 years old, one uncle died from the disease in his 40s, and another “barely made it to 50.” That spurred him to start getting screened in his mid-30s, and Sharpe believes that being proactive is probably what “saved my life.”

“Too many families are losing their brothers, their fathers, their uncles, their grandfathers – pillars of our homes – to the disease,” Sharpe said in a separate statement. “Talk That Talk is an incredible opportunity to help save lives by getting more people to have these crucial conversations with each other and our doctors no matter how difficult it is. I’ve been so blessed many times over in life – with my career and my family – and I want to use it to help save lives.”

According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Black men are 50% likelier to develop prostate cancer than other men, including other persons of color. They are also two times more likely to lost their lives to it. Therefore, Janssen is also teaming up with social media influencer Dr. Fenwa Famakinwa Milhouse to promote the Talk That Talk initiative as well.

“The disproportionate incidence and severity of prostate cancer in Black men means they are considered a higher risk population,” she noted. “As such, we need to be proactive and follow the American Cancer Society recommendations to talk to a doctor about screening beginning in their early 40s.”

“There is still work to be done within our healthcare systems on behalf of patients and their communities,” said Tyrone Brewer, U.S. President, Oncology, Janssen Biotech, Inc. “Talk That Talk can help inspire a potentially lifesaving conversation, an important first step on our journey to close the prostate cancer inequity gap and part of our mission to reimagine care so that patients can redefine living.”

Learn how you don’t have to “navigate prostate health alone” by visiting Talk That Talk on Instagram and Facebook. Check out their webpage to find out about screenings, resources, and stories of other Black men and their experiences with prostate cancer. And use the hashtags #TalkThatTalkTime and #TalkThatTalkPC to spread awareness and join the conversation online.

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