In the midst of a career comeback, Charlie Wilson, famed Gap Band frontman, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He battled back and is now a spokesperson for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Sitting down with Mark Anthony Neal of NewBlackMan, he discussed his experience and what men need to do with regard to prostate health:
"NBM: I read some information that said that before the age of 40, most men have a 1-in-10,000 chance of being diagnosed with Prostate cancer, but that that numbers increase to 1 in 38 between the ages of 40 and 59. In your case, was this something that you were thinking about? Were you getting exams? Or were you just doing "Charlie Wilson”?
Uncle Charlie: Naw, I wasn’t getting exams, although when I was a teenager I used to get those exams and I remember I used to hate it. As an adult I wouldn’t go to the doctor for those exams and I knew nothing about prostate cancer at all. All I knew is the exam shied me away from getting checked for anything.
NBM: That’s real, I imagine in the times that you’ve had to talk about prostate cancer have you had to deal with men who were a little skittish about having the exam because of previous experiences with it or fears of what it might be like?
Uncle Charlie: Yeah, I sit in on community panels and groups and a brother was like "tell us what really going on with it” and I really didn’t understand where he was coming from and I was like "dude it hurts like hell” and everybody started laughing. I got a chance to talk to a lot of guys and tell them "just got get a checkup” and one homeboy was like "man I don’t know…exit only, exit only” (laughter). But seriously, I found out last month about a case that was 27 years-old, that’s crazy."
Fellas, get checked. Pride isn't worth an early dirt nap.