Alonzo Mourning Cautions Men To Get Prostate Screenings

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame center and current Miami Heat executive Alonzo Mourning is currently recovering from a procedure he underwent in March 2024 to remove his prostate after he developed Stage 3 prostate cancer. Mourning had additional testing done, which determined that the cancer had not spread beyond his prostate; Mourning is now cancer-free as a result of his procedure. 

As ESPN reported, Mourning is using his experience to communicate to men the importance of getting their prostate examined, even if they’re not showing any symptoms. 

“What scares me about this disease is that there are so many men walking around feeling great and have that cancer in them and they don’t know it,” Mourning told ESPN. “The only way to find out is to get their blood tested and get their PSA checked. There are 3.3 million men living in the U.S. with prostate cancer, and many don’t even know it. I was one of those guys.”

Mourning continued, recounting his experience with Dr. Sanoj Punnen, a urologic oncologist at the University of Miami, “And Dr. Punnen tells me, ‘I want to get a PET scan immediately to make sure cancer hasn’t spread through your body. I was in shock. I can’t tell you enough about how well my body felt. I was in top-notch shape — running sprints, strong. The doctor told me that he couldn’t believe I had had a kidney transplant.”

Mourning also warned men about the importance of getting regular screenings. “Life was good and amazing for me, but if I had ignored getting checked and let this go, the cancer would’ve spread through my body,” Mourning said. “Unfortunately, as men, we don’t like to go to the doctor, but this is the only way to find out what’s going on in your body. Prostate and even colon cancer are silent killers and many men won’t get those diagnosis until it’s too late.”

Mourning concluded, “We live in a world where it’s taboo among men to talk about health issues. If I didn’t get routine checkups, I probably wouldn’t be here to talk about this. I want men to be proactive with their health.”

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, the risk for prostate cancer is determined by a PSA score, and the higher the number, the greater chance to develop the disease. Black men, in particular, are more susceptible to prostate cancer. According to research from the American Cancer Society, Black men are 70-110% more likely to develop prostate cancer in their lives and twice as likely to die from the disease as white men. As a result, new guidance recommends that Black men get their PSA levels checked starting at age 40. 

Dr. Isla Garraway, a medical doctor, professor, and director of research in urology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, told UCLA Health that the new guidelines are specifically aimed at helping Black men survive prostate cancer.

“These guidelines were specifically formulated to provide practical recommendations for Black men as they consider their individual risk of prostate cancer and engage in shared decision-making with their health care providers,” Dr. Garraway said. “Early detection of prostate cancer is one of several factors that the panel believes could reduce prostate cancer morbidity and mortality in this high-risk population.”

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