Shannon Sharpe Interview

Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe sits down for an exclusive interview to talk about his own personal PC journey. He reflects on how early detection was important for him and why we need to talk our talk.

Shannon: “Phone rings. ‘Is this Mr. Sharpe?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, this is he.’ ‘This is Dr. Such and Such.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, hey, how you doing?’ ‘Remember we told you we was going to do a biopsy? You have prostate cancer.’ Man, my heart just sank. I mean, just my heart, just... ‘What? I feel good. I mean, look, I was just in the gym, everything is great.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, but you have it.’ I said, ‘So, what does that mean?’ ‘It means that you’re going to have to have surgery.’ ‘Okay, what does that mean?’ ‘Well, Mr. Sharpe, we caught it in a very early stage and there’s a great chance that you’re going to be okay.’

Shannon: ‘But it’s a good thing that you started doing this at a very early age because a lot of men, they don’t.’ They wait until they display symptoms, and by that time I had no symptoms: I didn’t go to the bathroom any more, I didn’t have blood in my urine or anything of that nature. Just a routine checkup.”

Question: How has cancer impacted your family?

Shannon: “My dad died of cancer at the age of 39. My dad had four brothers, and I think only one made it to be 50, so cancer is hereditary for me.”

Footnote: It is recommended that Black men with a family history of PC start getting screened at age 40.

Shannon: “I started getting screened for prostate cancer in my late 30’s because of the history that was in my family.”

Question: What motivates you?

Shannon: “Health, family, happiness. I’m at my best when I’m feeling good, when I know my family’s good.”

Shannon: “Obviously, my health is very important because my health allows me to keep them in a good space, keep them prosperous.”

Question: As a man of faith, what would you tell others going through a similar journey?

Shannon: “You don't realize how strong you are. I say, He gave you this because He knew you could overcome this. He's not going to put any more on you than you can bear. That's what I would tell him. I put my arm around and say, brother, you going to be all right. You don't realize how strong you are, but you are about to find out how strong you actually are.”

Question: What can we do as a community to combat prostate cancer?

Shannon: “Have the conversation, us and our community, the Black community. Talk, don’t be afraid to go see the doctors if something’s not right. Get screened early.”

Shannon: “I think the biggest thing is that nobody thinks it can happen to them.”

Shannon: “A lot of times we have issues in our community that could be readily solved with the proper screening, if we got screened early enough.”

Footnote: Your doctor may recommend screening with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test about every two years.

Shannon: "Go get screened early. Get screened often. Don’t be afraid if something is going wrong, if you’re not feeling right. Go get it checked out. That’s what we should do.”

Get the facts at

Join the Conversation on @TalkThatTalkTime

Back to Talk That Talk Stories

Play buttonShannon Sharpe standing with his tailor

Talk Sharpe with Shannon Sharpe

Play buttonFather and bride dancing at a wedding

Talk That Talk™ — Family

Play buttonTwo men laughing and smiling behind the counter of a store

Walk That Walk — Success

Back to Talk That Talk Stories