Tracy Davidson: A little bit of Hollywood comes to our town today – actor Richard Roundtree is in Philadelphia, but instead of reading lines from a movie script he is here with his own story, one of survival. All That & More’s Denise Nakano is here to tell us all about it on the Health Watch. Denise?
Denise Nakano: Tracey, folks of a certain age, remember movie star Richard Roundtree as Shaft – the 70s private eye. Well today we know this 65-year-old for his roles in ‘Desperate Housewives’, ‘Heroes’, and this summer’s big film ‘Speed Racer’. But what brought him to Philly today is cancer – his own.
Richard Roundtree: Some kind of wonderful!
Denise Nakano: Richard Roundtree in Philadelphia to celebrate life. 15 years ago the actor learned he had breast cancer.
Richard Roundtree: If you have a body part cancer can attack it and it doesn’t… gender, age, race… no, none of that stuff plays into it. We all can contract breast cancer.
Denise Nakano: Back then he hid his diagnosis – fearful, he wouldn’t get work.
Richard Roundtree: Hollywood does not know how to deal with sick people.
Denise Nakano: Today he was part of Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s recognition of people like Jan Peterson commemorating five years of surviving cancer.
Jan Pederson: I had advanced ovarian cancer. Two oncologists gave me a death sentence because they said that there was just no hope.
Denise Nakano: She says her grim diagnosis is what makes today such an important anniversary. After his own five-year anniversary of being cancer-free, Roundtree remembers his doctors saying it best.
Richard Roundtree: When he said you are no longer a cancer patient; you are a survivor - it was incredible.
Denise Nakano: Roundtree is more famous for ‘Shaft’ than anything else. He says he’d love for people to move on but he says his dad put it all in perspective.
Richard Roundtree: He said, “Son listen! Let me tell you something – a lot of people leave this earth not being known for anything – shut up!”
Denise Nakano: All right, well Roundtree says men take better care of their cars than their own health. He is urging men to pay attention to their bodies and be aware that they too can get breast cancer. Denise Nakano – All That and More.