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Fox 29 in Philadelphia interviews Richard Roundtree

Video: Fox 29 in Philadelphia Interviews Richard Roundtree

Men and breast cancer
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[Music]

Announcer: Live from Center City - this is GOOD DAY PHILADELPHIA!

News Host: Guys listen up, when was the last time you went to the doctor? Richard Roundtree is here to tell us his story and why it’s so important even to you.

News Host1: He is an actor many of you will remember him from Shaft.

News Host: A story, that affects men and women although men don’t often think about it.

News Host1: We are talking about breast cancer in men – it happens, and this morning breast cancer survivor, actor Richard Roundtree is here to share his story, of course many of you will remember him for portraying John Shaft in the film ‘Shaft’ and its two sequels. These days though he is in the movie ‘Speedracer’ which is still playing in theaters. Good morning, thank you for coming in this morning.

Richard Roundtree: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

News Host1: So we are going to talk about what you are going to be doing a little later today talking to cancer survivors but first, talk to us about your experience for a moment. When did you find out you had cancer at the time?

Richard Roundtree: Well, it was 1993 and I was on a film set getting ready to go on and in the shower and I felt this strange thing around my nipple and being somewhat of a hypochondriac, as soon as I finished work I went straight to my doctor back in LA and had it examined and he told me that I had breast cancer and my immediate response was that he was questioning my manhood.

“What do you mean I got breast cancer”, and he said, “Yes, you have breast cancer”. Not very many men can contract it annually but this in his 30-year practice he has had somewhere in the neighborhood of three or four cases. But I had the procedure done and five years later I was declared a cancer-free man. So that’s why I am here in Philadelphia. This Cancer Treatment Centers of America…

News Host1: And that’s in northeast Philadelphia.

Richard Roundtree: Yes, yes, has this annually to celebrate the five-year hump for cancer survivors and their caregivers and what is a very, very unique hospital. Singularly it only treats cancer patients and it’s more like a spa. I haven’t seen it. I can’t wait to see this place. It’s quite like a spa and 90% of the food is organically grown and what I have learned that cancer – a lot of cancers are attributable to dietary problems and if you got 90% organic food you are way ahead of the program and cure rate getting over cancer.

News Host: Your message to men because like you said most men think ‘well, I don’t need a test. This is not for me. This is a disease that affects women.’ Your advice to them because if treated early you can really be ahead of the game…

Richard Roundtree: That’s right. Early detection can save your life because we as men have this cavalier attitude about our health issues. I mean I say in my speech we take better care of our cars [crosstalk] but you know, ‘oh it will go away; oh it’s nothing; oh I’ll do it later’, but those annual checkups staying on top of these health issue is very, very important.

If I hadn’t, well as I said I was a little bit of hypochondriac but if I hadn’t gone to the doctor immediately to check out something that was really small who knows I probably wouldn’t be talking to you today and men have got to get over that stigma of taking care of their health.

News Host1: Is it something that you would see in a normal check up or is it something, you know, with women we have to do the breast exams and that sort of thing. With men they wouldn’t even think to do that, you know, you just felt it.

Richard Roundtree: Yeah, well it was the size about an eraser head – very small, but I know it wasn’t right and I say it with all significant others you are loving and you are touching each other, if you feel something that doesn’t feel right, ask about it and go see a doctor about it because it could save your life.

News Host1: Well you just might have inspired somebody watching right now to get up and go to the doctor. Actor Richard Roundtree, thank you so much for coming in and sharing your story with us.

Richard Roundtree: Thank you.

News Host1: He is such a presence. It’s great.

News Host: Well yeah, we continue to enjoy all your work… so thank you so much getting the word out. Well, it’s not too late to book a summer vacation where you can go on the cheap if you are looking to…

In this segment, actor Richard Roundtree describes his battle with breast cancer. Though uncommon in men, breast cancer does occur in both genders and Roundtree is trying to raise awareness at the "Celebrate Life" event. This extravaganza takes place during the summer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America to commemorate 5-year cancer survivors that treated at CTCA. The five year mark symbolizes when cancer goes from being "in remission" to being "cured." Every year, more names are added to the "Tree of Life" at each CTCA facility. Each leaf on the tree displays the name of a CTCA cancer survivor who has reached his or her five-year anniversary of being cancer free. The tree is a constant reminder of hope and endurance.

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