Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe said Sunday he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016.
Sharpe emphasized the importance of early detection. He said he started getting screened in his mid-30s, and it "possibly saved my life."
The 54-year-old said he's cancer-free.
FOX Sports: NFL @NFLonFOX
In 2016, <a href="https://twitter.com/ShannonSharpe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShannonSharpe</a> privately battled prostate cancer.<br><br>Today on FOX NFL Sunday, he shared his story:<br><br>(<a href="https://twitter.com/undisputed?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@undisputed</a>) <a href="https://t.co/OblsXbTU6x">pic.twitter.com/OblsXbTU6x</a>
Sharpe explained multiple family members, including his father, have been diagnosed with cancer, and he pointed to research showing Black men are at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer. Those two factors led him to be more proactive about cancer screenings.
The eight-time Pro Bowler wanted to come forward now with his story because September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Although he retired after the 2003 season, Sharpe looks like he'd be able to step onto an NFL right now. He turned heads when he showed off his physique to celebrate his 54th birthday:
shannon sharpe @ShannonSharpe
The front & back of your favorite Unc celebrating his 54th bday. Yes, unc turned 54 today. Had I not told you my age. You prob wouldn’t have guessed it. Now that I’m telling you, you prob don’t believe it. Happy Bday to everyone celebrating a bday today & Cancer’s rule the world. <a href="https://t.co/lxbGNyMGGl">pic.twitter.com/lxbGNyMGGl</a>
The Chicago native walked away as one of the greatest tight ends of his era. A three-time Super Bowl champion, he ranks fourth at the position in career receptions (815) and receiving yards (10,060), per Stathead.