Hoops legend Oscar Robertson has decided to go public about his recent battle with prostate cancer.
According to a report from the Indianapolis Star, Robertson was diagnosed with Stage III prostate cancer last spring after doctors found elevated prostate-specific antigen levels in a routine blood test.
Robertson subsequently opted for non-invasive surgery using robotics. His prostate was removed, and the good news is that Robertson is now cancer-free.
Robertson accomplished many great things during his NBA career with the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks, making 12 All-Star teams, winning an MVP in 1964 and a championship with the Bucks in 1971. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.
Since retiring, though, Robertson has been largely reclusive, popping into the spotlight only on occasion. He's choosing to go public with his battle with prostate cancer for a reason.
“I didn’t realize I had any problems with it, and I’m glad they found out before it got real bad,” Robertson said last week, via the Star. “I just think people should be aware of it and get an examination.”
Dr. Vipul Patel, founder of the International Prostate Cancer Foundation, says Robertson's efforts are already making a difference.
"We can see people calling and being screened. He's having an impact already," Patel said, per the Associated Press.
The AP notes that Robertson has made a special effort within the structure of the NBA, reaching out to league associates hoping that they will help future awareness initiatives.
Obviously, you have to tip your cap to Robertson for choosing to be proactive after his bout with prostate cancer. The impact his efforts are having and will continue to have could save lives.