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February 27, 2024 44 mins

Warning: The following episode of That Moment is presented for educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice nor should it substitute for guidance from a medical professional. Viewers should always consult directly with their doctor or healthcare provider for any medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment recommendations. Information and recommendations discussed in this episode are subject to change and should not be solely relied upon when making medical decisions. This program shall not be liable for any viewer's reliance on the medical information contained herein. We advise consulting a physician regarding any medical questions you may have.

Losing loved ones to cancer made me realize how important early detection and screening really is. I spoke with Brian Custer, a sports broadcaster and 10-year prostate cancer survivor, along with Dr. Arif Kamal of the American Cancer Society about this silent killer that's on the rise, especially among Black men. 

Getting the facts out there and encouraging men to get screened literally saves lives - if Brian hadn't gone for his annual physicals and PSA tests, his aggressive cancer would likely have killed him within a year. I know the anxieties guys feel about tests like the digital rectal exam, but it only takes seconds and chemotherapy takes much longer and makes you way sicker. Catching prostate cancer early gives you a 98-99% survival rate; once it spreads the odds drop big time.

Brian kept his diagnosis hidden at first, worried about sexual side effects making him less of a man. But his surgeon said with fame comes responsibility. Use your platform to tell other guys, especially men of color, to see their doctor and ignore the stigma. Brian came clean publicly right before surgery and has been outspoken since to empower others. 

Same for me after thyroid cancer - I decided any embarrassment or discomfort on my part was trivial next to leaving my young daughters without a father. Getting checked and surviving to protect my family gives purpose to my life. So tune out that little devil on your shoulder putting doubts, excuses and fear in your head when it comes to getting screened. Show your loved ones you value your life together by taking charge of your health. Call your doctor’s office right now and book an appointment while you’re thinking about it!


Host: Daymond John

Producers: Beau Dozier & Shanelle Collins; Ted Kingsbery, Chauncey Bell, & Taryn Loftus

For more info on how to take your life and business to the next level, check out 


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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
The following episode of That Moment is presented for educational
and informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice,
nor should it substitute for guidance from a medical professional.
Viewers should always consult directly with their doctor or healthcare
provider for any medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment recommendations. Information

and recommendations discussed in this episode are subject to change
and should not be solely relied upon when making medical decisions.
This program shall not be liable for any viewer's reliance
on the medical information contained herein. We advise consulting a
physician regarding any medical questions you may have.

Speaker 2 (00:43):
I need you to use your platform to get out there.
There's too many men of color coming down with this disease,
and I need you to get out there and say, hey,
look I have it, and you know what.

Speaker 3 (00:55):
I'm getting treated. I'm going to be okay. You can too.
You just need to get checked every year. Every year.
What if I told you there was more to the
story behind game changing events? Get ready for my new podcast,
That Moment with Damon John will jump into the personal
stories of some of the most influential people on the

planet from business mobiles and celebrities, to athletes and artists.
This man can save your life. I'm unfortunately level. I
lost somebody to cancer three weeks ago, and I just
said goodbye to somebody two days ago that has about
two weeks left. So obviously this is something and they

didn't necessarily have a processing dancer. Now. The person I
said goodbye to that the other day, ninety seven years old,
has had a great life, and they basically said, I'm
you know, we do a surgery. I'm gonna kill you
fast as they can surprise me. So so fortunate enough
that I probably will be able to really come of

the conversation I've had with him that other people film
are and people who are about to leave us in
a certain amount of way, who have nothing to give
but tell you what they believe, what the best things
they've done in their life, what they regret, what they
would only devise other people to do. And I know
this is a very touchy subject with so many people

out there. But my other friend who I lost three
weeks ago, left the five and a seven year old
and his wife, and very very sad for that. I
know that many us here we deal with this all
the time, So there's gonna be a lot of people listening,
and I hope just that one little nugget that maybe
you can share with them. The number of cross state

cancer diagnoses are increasing after decades of decline, right, so
there must be something going on or uh. And with
the advance of technology and information, this should not be
happening unless there's wrong information being given to people, which

you're here to prove that that's that you can give
them the proper information. Prostate cancer is the number two
most common cancer in men in America. More men are
diagnosed at later stages of the disease, when it's more
difficult to treat. We will get into I will ask you, doctor,

what is the chances that you catch something on time
that you can beat it? And American Cancer Society is
at the forefront of understanding and reversing those alarming trends.
And I am wearing my American Cancer Society shirt because
I face cancer in two twenty seventeen, but I believe

I had the close growing cancer with this thyrac cancer.
So I don't want to say that it was as
detrimental as a lot of people. But thank you for
being here. That's my opening, Please introduce yourself either one
Brian or doctor or doctor. Well, yeah, thank you, damon man.

Speaker 2 (04:06):
I'm Brian Custer uh and the host of the Showtime
Championship Boxing obviously also on ESPN DO Sports Center.

Speaker 3 (04:16):
H listen. Uh.

Speaker 2 (04:18):
I was prostate cancer fiver. Diagnosed prostate cancer ten years
ago this month. In fact, I had surgery uh days ago,
ten years ago on that date, the eighteen And now
you know, I was one of the lucky ones man.

You know, they called it, they call it the silent
killer for a reason, because a lot of times you
don't know that you have prostate cancer until it's too late.

Speaker 3 (04:46):
You know, for some for many guys, there aren't a
lot of outwardly signs of it.

Speaker 2 (04:51):
And for me, I was in the best shape of
my life, felt great, and I was just lucky. And
as Doc would point out, is that I was one
of the guys who always went to the doctor. And
I still do go to the doctor every year to
get my physical and that's what really saved my life,
being diagnosed early on. Because you know, if you if
you get diagnosed and get treated early, it is a

disease that you it can be treated and you can
be sitting here like me talking to you. But had
I not gone to the doctor every year, and had
I not gotten diagnosed and gotten a PSA test, I
would have died and I wouldn't be sitting here talking
to you right now. I'm just happy to be here,

to be living, to be able to have a platform.
Try to get men number one to get checked every year.
Number two get a PSA test. It is viewing younger
and younger.

Speaker 3 (05:48):
I was forty one, you know, and I'm the one
to say, uh, I'm sorry, Ray chef who lost husband
had six months ago. What is a PSK test? For
all of us tuning in like, well, what is that? Yeah?
And so you know, listen to PSA test.

Speaker 2 (06:08):
It's fairly it's just a blood test and you go
get a physical, you get a PSA test.

Speaker 3 (06:13):
They just take your blood just like any other thing.

Speaker 2 (06:16):
And basically they look at the number, and you know,
I think general practitioner will tell you, hey, look, if
you're your number is under a four, okay, you're doing okay.

Speaker 3 (06:27):
But if it's over a four, then you've.

Speaker 2 (06:29):
Got problems, and uh, we need to explore it a
little bit further. I would say, if you are someone
who was a young man like myself at that time,
and you're in whole numbers.

Speaker 3 (06:41):
That's something you and your doctor. What age are you
when do that the DIAGNOSM I was.

Speaker 2 (06:45):
Forty and when I first I first had my When
I first had my UH, I had a PSA test
at the age of forty. At the age of forty,
my number was two point four. So I was thinking
I was okay and I would know the spectrum?

Speaker 3 (07:04):
What is that two point four? What does that mean?

Speaker 2 (07:07):
Well, again, as doctor will point out the general a
general practitioner will say, if it is if it is
A four or higher, you probably got something going on.
If it's under a four, okay, you know what. You're okay,
But it should be roight. There should be some alarms
going on because you're in whole numbers. Because generally, if

you have your PSA when you get the results back,
damn this should say a point zero whatever, a point whatever.
You should not generally be in whole numbers. If you're
if you get the results back when you're in all numbers,
that's something you need to be concerned about. But all
I heard from my doctor was if it's four or higher,
I got problem when I got a two point four

at the age of forty. I thought I was good
at forty one. I told him when I got my
physical ah, we don't need to do to PSA. I
did it last year because of the blood and he
gave me a digital rectro exam because as well. I
didn't want to go through that again. So that's why
I blew him off and the following it off.

Speaker 3 (08:10):
I'm good, you know. I give you a chance to
introduce yourself, tell us a little about yourself, and then
I'm gonna I've got a couple of questions for both
of you, and I'm going to really talk to Layman's
turn because a lot of times we don't want to
this something that's too complicated and it's a big world
and we don't know what we're doing, and it can
get intimidating. We start getting sober our eye. So Dot

wanted to tell us a little bit about who you are.
And while we're having this conversation, Yeah, well it's good.
It's good to be with both of you. I'm doctor
Reef Maald and the Chief Patient Officer of the American
Cancer Society, and I appreciate this shout out to all
the work that we're doing and appreciate the fundraising that's happening.
We work every day with over two hundred health systems
fifty five million people across the United States to prevent

this thing that we call cancer, to help people get
through the barriers that they face and accessing care and
getting to the right screening and prevent and we're the
organization that puts out the guidelines to really tell people
kind of when is the right time to go. Just
as Brian said, look, it's really clear what we saw
in those statistics are decades of improvement that was really fantastic.

And then what happened, well, people got a little confused,
doctors stopped bringing it up, patients didn't think about as much,
COVID happened, All these things started to happen, and all
this decline started to level out. And then now actually
we see the number of project cancer cases going up
for the first time in really my lifetime, one and
two fifty percent, So one and two of all the

new prospect cancer cases are metastatic or advance, which means
now we're talking about chemotherapy, we're talking about radiation. So
where Brian's got this great story. Find it early, just
take care of it early. You know, not having to
have what people think about is being cancer care. Avoid
all that nonsense and trouble and get to take care
of early is exactly what we want to get out there.

And it's you know, there's there should be no reason
that more people are being diagnosed because we're finding it later.
We really it's one of those things where you go tomorrow,
pick up the phone, you call your doctor and say,
let's talk about this. What's the right way to screen
for me? And for many people, what they're trying to
figure out is like what is the right plan? And
what I would say is for the average person fifty
and older, sure, but for African American men forty five

and older, if you've got one immediate family member that's
forty five and older. If you've got two immediate family
members forty and older, and if you're not sure, ask
your doctor. And oftentimes the plan is different than what
the guidelines might say. So it's a really a personalized approach. Well,
let me ask you some of list, and let's talk
about the real list, the reality of it. So I
was in mind, buddy, so you know I need check.

I don't want to, I need check with prose cants.
What is a proper way. Well, the thing is, you
know a lot of people think, well, I'm gonna wait
till I feel different, and the reality is you don't
feel different. By the time you feel different, something's really
going on. Now. Some people might have a little trouble
with your nation, a little trouble with sexual dysfunction. But
for the vast majority of patients I take care of,

and I'm a metagone collegist, I'm a cancer position, they
don't feel anything at all. And that's the importance of
getting screened is when you feel well, not when you
don't feel well. Now, how do we do it? Two ways?
Typically for the person at average risk. One is a
very simple blood test called the PSA. PSA stands for
prostate specific anigen. It's a specific protein specific to the prostate. Now,

it can go up for other reasons, but when it
gets into what Brian was talking about, those numbers, those
solid numbers four, five, six, seven, you know that means
we got to get a biopsy. We got to know
what's going on real quick. The other way is digital
rectal exam. That means exactly what it sounds like. He
kind of has a doctor. You go in there and
you kind of feel a prostate should feel like this big,
should feel round and smooth, and if the doctor feels
something different than that, then that's a reason for us

to go in and and biopsy or do with different
What is so? What is coal? When they when they
you know, let's lead Joe about it in the flu Laune, right,
you know they got on a blog, you know obviously
going through the rect what and and is that? How
do you check with colon as well? I don't I
don't know. I'm curious. No, not typically, So when we're
when we're going to look for process cascer digital rectorle exam,

you do go into the colon, but the prostate actually
comes up against the colon just like this. So you're
kind of feeling through the colon to see if you
can feel around kind of smooth prostate and that's how
the pro states should feel in colon cancer. Your colon
is hundreds of feet long actually, right, So what we
want to do is either test for changes in the
DNA and the stool that's a home based test. Look

for blood in the stool, which is a home based
test too, or do a colonoscarby we're actually put a camera.
So the very different things both of them should start
around forty forty five. So that's the similarities. And both
are leading reasons for cancer and cancer death and men.
So you should be paying attention to both at the
same time. So you know when your blood is drawn
for a checkout because you know, I had a mom.

I was on TMZ the other day because you know,
they Kip Gardashian and win and got something for a
new law. When I it's twenty five hundred dollars. It's
not super by insurance with a whole other issue, but
radiation free and I gotta I gotta scan, full body scan, right,

Kim Grardashian goes on, she gets this full body scan, right,
she's standing, she now twenty five hours and the you
know a lot of people say she was being toned dead. Right,
this is twenty five hundred dollars, right, you know, how
dare you Kim? Right now? I think Kim gett. I

think Kim was doing what within within her knees right now.
I personally felt that, you know, they're the Kardashians. You
know you don't complain when they're on jets and ostrich
or Mets bags. I don't know anybody give any rappers
a problem about you know, I'm on my Beny outer

ace spades or you know, whatever the case is. But
she's standing outside here, and I happened to know she
wasn't getting paid by them, but I had taken it
for now as well, and people gave her a hard
time and they said, you know, how dare you? Well,
the way I looked at it is I stole a
hell helicopter drop of a tillions of dollars, and I
store a whole lot of people outside on on the

love rethorw line like louse, She and everything else not
standing well. You know, maybe they can't buy it back
for six months because they be to afford this. But
what I also was saying to people is she did
what was in her needs. And that you're saying, you know,
if you work at McDonald's and you have the the
access to getting an a, you will check up where

they pull your blood and they can check these things.
Why aren't people doing this? And are they doing this?
But they're not. They don't know to ask this specific
test because again you can take blood and check for
a million things. So what is the real reason? Because
one day, Doc, yeah, you know, you'll tell me about crossing.

Then there's falling, Uh, then this penny real, then there's
this this style. If somebody would to ask you that,
what would you say? Well, So the good news is
for most people, insurance payment isn't the barrier. Now are
there barriers like that, sure, but things like Obamacare and
Medicaid expansion in many states have really made that easier

for a lot of people. And I would encourage anyone
out there who's concerned, like house insurance going to cover
or not call the American Cancer Study. We have a
twenty four to seven hotline one eight head or two
two seven two three four five call us. We have
information specialists. We'll talk you through that process. So that's one. Two.
If you don't know where to go to get cancer
screening cancer dot org, which is our website front slash
get screened. We've got a map you can put in

your zip code. We'll show you exactly where you can
go to get screened. So that's how does it get
paid for? And where do I go? So that's two
questions right right. The third is which screening should I get?

You can find that on our website as well. And
then lastly to your question, like what actually gets in
the way I think life gets in the way we
get busy? There are misperceptions, right like, wait, you know
what's gonna happen? What is the digital rectal exam? Like,
I promise you I've done hundreds of them in my career.
They take less than five seconds to do, Brian, maybe
you can back me up here, right, Generally not that bad,
and most of the testing is really done by blood,

and I can tell you that a chemotherapy and radiation
is much worse than a five minute uncomfortableness from a
digital rectal exam. But I think here's the thing, right,
is that there's a lot of attention that got taken
away from routine health screenings when COVID came up, right,
because we told people stay away from the hospitals, you know,
you just focus on being home, being safe. And that
was great and it was the right thing to do.
But what we learned is that for many cancer screening

is the rate went down by like ninety five percent.
And what I'm definitely afraid of as an oncologist, is
that we're gonna start to see bumps, because what we
see is bumps in the number of diagnoses and deaths
kind of come up a little bit later that that'll
start to come up now. And we have an ability
right now if everyone goes and kind of catches up
with the screen, to keep that from bumping up again,
to come back down to where we want it to be. Now.

We estimated in general forty to fifty percent of all
cancers are screening. That means if you took all cancers
in the world, you took half and just took them
off the table, that would happen if everyone got screen
It's as plain as simple as that. What so is it?
Because we're in COVID and then a lot of telehealth
happened and they said, yeah, I do, I'm not gonna
go in, And maybe there's a lot of that because listen,

I I face the aspect of going there and knowing
that somebody was going to, you know, put on the
glove and it wasn't even just like an evil thing,
just like and it's gonna feel weird, right, but I
gotta tell you I did it. I the level of

relief I knew that I had, but you know, I
think it is you know, I'm I'm after and I'm
after to daddie. And there is this theory that we
will growing up that certain things they supposed to happen.
You don't do that. So we've got to have a
lot of women or younger generation here, well, their parents
grew up during a certain time and they're like that's
not cool. Yeah, you know, and it's a stigmatism. Sure

that is just like I'm not going to do it.
So how do we get the people here to convince
their loved ones that this is something they need to
do because what is the stat or fact dot on
how what is the percentage on if you catch it
at the time that you can beat it. Well, so
I'll say this as it relates to digital ructal exams,

and I totally get what you're saying. I would rather
someone get a p S A test and now digital
ructal exam that you're nothing at all because we'll get
most of the way there just from the blood test.
So I'm saying that for everyone who will listen, is
if if, if the digital ructalle exam is the reason
you're not gonna do it, just get the blood test. Fine,
I'll tell you that all day long. Just fine, do
it that way. I think that, you know, the other

issues really have to do with just just paying attention
to like these issues, because when you're in your forties, right,
like a lot of people feel still a little invincible.
They're like, oh, cancer is a thing for old people, right.
The thing though, is when it gets diagnosed in an early age,
it can tend to be more aggressive. And that's why
we want to find it. The curates. If we find
it super early, like stage one is like ninety eight

ninety nine percent, if we find it metastatic, means it's
had time to lead the prostate, because that's what metastasis means.
Metastasis means it started the prostate and had enough time time.
That's what it needed is to move out of the
prostate to other parts of the body. When it's in
other parts of the body, you can't cut it out anymore, right.
You have to get cubo. You have to get poisonous

things all over the body to get rid of what
did you say was the stack on? If you cash
it within before it beats the that area nine upper
nineties ninety eight, ninety nine percent. If you wait for
it to lead the prostate, that number gets down into
the twenties upper teens for five year survival. Right, so
there's kind of kind of like a get it done

and forget it versus a kind of live with it
the rest of your life and potentially, you know, sadly
die of it. And profit answer is one of those
things that's so common. It's so easy to get tested,
it's so preventable to get advanced that every time I
see someone with advanced disease, I'm like, man, what could
we have done differently or better? And that's why we
got to get the word out right, like, so everyone's

thinking about it. Hey Dave, yeah, put it to you
like this. You a brother, you know how we act.
And so first the first thing is we got to
get over the serial type.

Speaker 2 (20:36):
And he feel all right, I don't need to go
to the doctor just because we as men like, man,
I'm good, I don't.

Speaker 3 (20:44):
That's number one. We as brothers do have this kind
of stereo type like oh.

Speaker 2 (20:50):
His fingery, listen, had he not done me again, I
wouldn't be here because this doctor pointed out with did
the digital rectro exam for me?

Speaker 3 (21:02):
I feel a little bump on your prostct. It could
be a calcium to polity, it could be something else.
But the only way we're gonna know is if.

Speaker 2 (21:11):
We do this and then maybe do a biops and
so listen to man, when I got diagnosed, doctor even
told me, and I told him, I said, man, I
felt great. What would have happened, Uh, what would have
happened if I just you know, kept on to we're
living without life?

Speaker 3 (21:26):
He said, Man, it would have been dead within me.
That's how it grew within a year.

Speaker 2 (21:32):
That's how aggressive my my diagnosis was.

Speaker 3 (21:36):
When I had gotten diagnosed at the second time.

Speaker 2 (21:39):
It went from originally it was two point four when
I was forty, I skipped going to the doctor at
forty one, get the PSA test, had it done again
at forty two it was a five point two and.

Speaker 3 (21:51):
A move like that. And that's that's that's how fast
my mind I grew up with it. I grew up
and I'm not so young. Brothers up and a lot
of people here may still be in that area I
grew up, you know, or in an area I grew
up around a lot of hard people, you know. I mean,
my my best buddy. They made the movie DMX. So

they made the movie on belly about the d MX.
That was my best friend. Wow. And I remember one
of my buddies saying, Yo, man, you know I'm a man.
You know I ain't getting no fig that stuck up
my my you know, my ass and that stuff. And
then I said, okay, but you said, if anybody ever
said so, it's your family, you'll take a bullet for them,

you know, and make sure you protect them. But you
want to get a finger stuck up your ass to
be around for your kids and your wife and your mother,
just a sick fingers up. Yeah, you probably You probably
do that by mistake sometimes and you're wrapping your ass
to are the toilet papers. You you ready to take
a bullet, you ready to go kill self about it,
but you don't want to take the thing up your

just to name sure that you and by the way,
you suck away more too, like you said, doctor came
on all that other stuff, you know, you know our
buddy chuck uh Chuck twenty three. I went to his
barbershop for the dick, you know, his flyers around now.
I noticed one thing, you know, the barbershops have always
been on a social clu Ryan and Doc Right and

I saw this and he said it on college, just
was gonna come and talk about pros say and colon cancer,
you know, and he said, and he said, you did.
I'm off ruler here. I got three hundred men signed
up because what happened was now it was different. It
was in the barbershop. But you know how the barbershop
called Ryan right, do right. It's like if you see that,

you know, if we'll all walking by people always hittingus
something by the way, you when we get the cancer,
everybody's my head, taste this and come in. Well let
us see you like leave me, leave me the hell
a law. But in a barbershop, we know what. You know,
what I realized was happening. You know, we'd be in
the barber shop and like yo, yo ton man. You
know South today they're gonna be talking us about calling

or pro saying, I ain't coming. Is that right? Is
that right? You asked? You have we sweating going up
the elevator and you don't want to play, you know,
and you know, and so they start they start hounding you, right,
and then even after that, after everybody learns from it,
then they hand you for for another year. Right. So
sometimes in the community, you know, people they can't do much.

And listen, if we just saved there's a one hundredwelve people.
Why I don't know, I'm even watch after wall. We
just saved one person, like there's one person. We did
our job. And a lot of people think that they
can't address these matters because they're in the hood, or
they don't have money. They have so much inventions or
in bagging the sun Hu mother sisters wife didn't tag

their ship out of your people to say you got it, Oh,
you gotta go. A lot of people don't think these
law efforts save lives, you know, So what would be
the next step because okay, what if somebody he does
not have insurance right now and they're like sales life statement.
But you know what, I live in a real world.

I don't have enough money, I don't have your shurans.
Is there any because I know you have some resources
doctors there any Way, what can people do who will
like I ain't got I don't got enough. Who what
have be able to do? Yeah? Well, you know, so
it's you know, naturally speaking of people out of medicare,
so there are just sixty five. This is covered if

they don't they have Medicaid. It generally is except for
in a few places. But and then there's county resources,
there's state local resources. Here. Here's what I'd say. If
you don't know where to go quality American cancersity, that's simple,
talk to your doctor. Because normally, I find the issue
is not in ability to pay. Normally the issue is
no one brought it up or we didn't have a

conversation about it. And that could because look, when you
go to a doctor or something, it's fifteen minutes. You
got a lot of stuff to talk about. Sometimes it
get brought up some of the guidelines, you know, just
you know, some of it really involves having a convert station.
And sometimes doctors don't bring it up. And I know that.
I mean I'm one of them, right Like people respect
doctors a lot, and I love that. That's great. If
your doctor don't bring it up, you need to bring

it up, plan and bring it up and say should
I be getting my prostate checked and have a conversation
about it. And sometimes it's like, oh, shoot, I didn't
think about that. Yeah, you're read, you know, but bus
and then you know what the last thing is. We're
coming up on September, but we're also coming up on Thanksgiving.
It's a good time to talk to your family because
sometimes people are like, you know, granddad had cancer. I
don't know what it was, you know, blah blah blah.
So oftentimes there's a story and people don't like talk

about it in the family. But it's super important, right
you need to know what it was and what agent
was diagnosed. Those are the two things you got to
know because based on that, I can tell you what
your risk is and whether your psation started forty forty
five earlier or later. That's really really important.

Speaker 2 (26:46):
Indeed, one of the great things is now there's so
much emphasis, thank goodness cross Day cancer. Yeah, you can
call the American Society and find out where you can
get tested. But now you've got black churches doing a
lot of the rosy can't I mean they're doing it
for free. We got like, I'm a Kapita cap Alpha
said no, does it all the time, and you got

you got all of these fraternities now doing that because
they see that the numbers are on the rise, they
need to be villaging about this and they're giving out
all kind of doing testing all the time. So whether
it's your local church, fraternity organizations, the American Cancer Society,
you can get the test and get it for free.

Speaker 3 (27:25):
I gotta tell you, you know, I obviously have the great resources.

Speaker 1 (27:30):
You know.

Speaker 3 (27:30):
He never suggested to check me for that. And now
maybe that was because I don't know, and he never
really talked about it. And and then I realized that
I wasn't getting a thorough check up from a doctor.
And I don't know why, but I think that, like
you said, you know, we have a lot of respect
for doctors, and maybe we think they know it all
and they can think about everything. But sometimes, you know,

I don't know, I know he was too busy or
he wasn't a thorough I went at the same doctor
twenty years and he never checked me or never told
you say, hey, I'm running your blood And I don't know,
we never said hey, you know, would last say a
process checked? Are you ready for this? I got another
bot and it was immediate. It was like, this is
this is what we do, you know what I mean? Also,

I think that you know, when I was growing up,
because it wasn't it wasn't social media. We didn't have
a lot of amfamation out there. You know. I think
that we thought that cancer is something that you just
stick your head in the sand and hope that the
bus doesn't hit you. Sure you know, right, because you
know it happened in your family. Now, hey, you know,
I think you had to lead to the league. I

changed a lot of this conversation. I say, I know where,
I know that there's a high history and probability of
this in my family. You know, of course, so that
I needed all cancers please, you know its breast cancer
for women's sharks watching. But I think that this is critical.
What for the person to say to go in and say,
you have to say when should we start checking for this?

Speaker 2 (28:57):
Forty This is a doctor's gonna get it. Listen, I
have cancer in my family. Uncles, all of those had it.
So for me, forty had to be baseline because I
it's answer that goes into our family. I think generally
they would say, if you're a white male, fifty of

ben at forty five, people of color at forty five.
But if you got if your white, black, whatever, and
you have a history of cancer, I think you at
forty you should be asking your doctor about a PSA test,
especially if let's say your uncle your father has had
it without questioning. Generally those are the baselines for you.

So you know, my natural born father died at a
very young age, so I procestiny cancer with him on
my radar because my other uncles had you know, bone
cancer and lung cancer. So I was like, eh, you know,
I'm not thinking I'm gonna have any of those. But
thank god that at forty I went do you got checked?

And I got that p s A test, because again,
had I not, I wouldn't be sitting here talking to
you right now.

Speaker 3 (30:06):
Doctor may ask you something. Out many people, I mean,
I'm just curious of the reaction when they find they
have it, as you having you know, personal contact. Do
they go, I never thought this should happen, or you know,
I don't I didn't know about it. Is it ignorance list,
is it I was afraid? Is I just didn't have

enough information? Was it like I'll be tough? Or you
know how many people regret it because they or they
just you know, this is not so they didn't know.
What's the most common response when you find that you
talk to somebody and they said, damn, well you can't
go too late now, all right, you got to say, hey,
but what do you find them? So you see the

loved ones sawing jo like I told you or you
should have or or why didn't we wait till your
damn they were falling out to come in, Like what's
the what's the what's the common to Jesus moment? Have
a lot of time people and they have to regret
unfortunately that they may they may have waited a little
bit too long. Yeah, well we get it early, which

is the majority of the time. You know. What people
say is but I felt fine. But I was feeling
fine and it felt okay. And that's one of those
things where like oh man, you got cancer, but you
look great and you're like, yeah, that's the thing, of course,

you know, like that's but that's the story we want
is we want people to say, but I was feeling fine,
I got screened, I got this thing. Okay, we're gonna
get it taken care of and hopefully never have to
think about it again, because ninety nine percent is a
powerful number to never have to think about it again.
I think for the people who find it later, there
is naturally a bit of guilt and regret and things
like that. We work through that certainly. But you know,

here's the thing. We were making so much progress for
decades and decades and decades, like let me let me
tell you the good news here. The good news is
cancer mortality in the last thirty years has gone down
by twenty five percent. I mean that is remarkable because
if I started, really I feel like the way it
is today with all these you know, process ful and
all this other stuff like you know, I guess woods
and connected, I feel like I hear's somebody dropping, you know,

on coarsely passing every other day. You're saying that these
numbers have went down. So overall, cancer mortality has gone down,
which is really really great. And when we find it,
we tend to find it earlier and we get it out.
Screeny has gotten better, people are smoking less, and we're
starting to understand like the connections between weight and nutrition
and cancer. And so as we double click on that,

we're gonna we're gonna even have more solid guidelines to
put out there. But in the meantime, I think what
we have to do is recognize is that cancer oftentimes
feels like this, this kind of invisible thing that's there.
I'll just put my hand in the sand and now
think about it and kind of roll the dice on
my life. And I'm what I'm saying here, what Brian's
saying here too, is you don't need to do that, right.

You're talking about literally a five minute exam that will
change your life. Right, if you got kids, it's gonna
make sure they have a father and an uncle and
you know, so it's really five minutes. But here's the thing.
You have to like make an appointment, right, you have
to like take it, take a day or take an hour,
go out there and get it done. And then just

make it happen every year like all the other things
you did take care of yourself. Just make this a
happen to go get it done? All right? Well, Brian,
you know I'll leave it up to you. Brian, want
give us some one of your departing words, and I'll
leave with a couple of words that I'm just lying here.
What would you suggest? And why did you vote public
your battle with it? And I'm just understand, Yeah, why

do you go why do you go public about this?

Speaker 2 (33:54):
I'll be real with you because when I first got diagnosed.
Doctor told me that, you know, I was gonna have surgery,
and he said, you gotta have surgery, like right now.
I was embarrassed because I was forty two and all
I knew at that time teen years ago was isn't
like some old fo get forty two and have this

disease and you're talking about talking about maybe sexual disfruncted,
you're talking about I was like being sterile.

Speaker 3 (34:24):
There's no way I want people to know that I
have this. No, I'm trying to keep this. I'm trying
to another procession that if you have a candy ain't
gonna work exactly.

Speaker 2 (34:37):
I mean, people, that's that's the that's the thought process
that all man. You know, listen, I don't care how
rich powerful you are. For a lot of men, they
they look at themselves and evaluate themselves by what's between
their legs, and they feel that all man, if I
got some stuff that I may have confidence or I
may have this, I'm not you know, I'm not a

man in I'm down half the guy that I used
to be.

Speaker 3 (35:02):
But my thing is you're alive. You're alive.

Speaker 2 (35:07):
So because maybe you have to deal with maybe some
incontinence or I have to take cialis who cares?

Speaker 3 (35:12):
You're alive? My brother.

Speaker 2 (35:14):
But getting back to your your question, why I came public,
I will trying to keep it quiet.

Speaker 3 (35:19):
And I remember the doctor who had surgery for me said, listen,
I am going to save your life. I needed you
to use your platform to get out there.

Speaker 2 (35:30):
There's too many men of color coming down with this disease,
and I need you to get out there and say, hey,
look I have it, and you know what.

Speaker 3 (35:39):
I'm getting treated. I'm going to be okay. You can too.
You just need to get checked every year.

Speaker 2 (35:44):
And I looked at him like he was crazy, but
then he said, if I can do this for you,
why don't you do that for others? And you know,
but I went on that night, cried about it, prayed
about it.

Speaker 3 (35:57):
And I was like, man, this dude is right. He's right.

Speaker 2 (36:00):
You know what, I can probably help save somebody's life.
And I just felt like that. That next day, when
I was gonna have surgery, I let everybody know on
social media.

Speaker 3 (36:09):
I've been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I'm about to have surgery.

Speaker 2 (36:13):
But had I not been gotten an annual check and
not being diagnosed, I wouldn't be talking to you right now,
please man, get checked. And I just felt like it
was it was almost like duty to do that. And
you know this, sometimes damn it. You sit there and
you have that widening moment, but then you have to
undunderstand it. Sometimes God puts you through this because he

feels like you are the vessel that can help other
people and that's why you're going through that. And I
felt like, once I had an understanding of this, he
maybe put me on this earth because he said you
can handle it and you can help others. And I
felt like, Okay, this is part of my mission here
and why I'm still living.

Speaker 3 (36:55):
I gotta tell you mine is the saying a very
similar type of story. I didn't say that to me
a really amazing, amazing doctor, doctor patelou nyu right now.
But the story is that my one hour surgery to
get a nods overbold and my dirogard became four and
a half hours and then took out this mass the

size of a golf ball and it was hard, and
you know, doc, I don't know why you guys do this,
but I said, hey, doctors, I cancer. Now he takes
out three hundred thyroids a year. You've been doing it
for fifteen years. I don't know why you guys try
to bullshit us. I was like, dude, like I don't know.
I got to say away to get tested. I was like,
and then here you go. You know you gotta stay

you you you see three one hundred of me of
the year, and you gotta send that away to get tested. Okay,
let's play the game. So I don't home when I
say to myself either it is so blessed. I lived
the life of ten families, ten lives of ten people.
I was like, my two oldest girls, beautiful people they are,

They're great, contributed to society. My little girl at the
time was two out of She ain't even gonna know
that I existed. My mother. I never want to see mine.
I never want to bury my mother. And by the way,
you know, my wife is smoking hot chi finding on
the husband in two weeks. So I was like, I'm
out of here. Let it close up these business does

let me drap myself to death. And then I stopped
has said that myself. You know, God blessed me for
a reason. You're being a selfish ass bastard right now.
Because you're two older girls are beautiful young ladies, and
you should want to see their grandkids. But we were taught,
many of us to color, not only African Americans, and

we're talking about, of course, people who are not out
checked you please. But we were hoping that we would
just live past twenty one and not being in jail
or dead. That's we were. We were desaulted with that,
so we never even cared about the long game. Then
I'll like, my littlest girl, well, who's gonna protect her
in this world? If I'm here, my mother actually, no

mother or no parents ever bury this son. And you
know what I do, get to hang out with a
smoking out. How dare I? How dare I be selfish
like that? Uh? And it was that moment that I
decided that I was gonna be public about it. But
it's funny. Two weeks lay it up the doctor, a
doctor something. You're like, oh, yeah, I gotta tell your results.

I'm like results about what it's like? Yo? You know,
we gotta stay she chance. So I was like, I
was so mentally like, I'm gonna beat this thing. I
didn't even remember. I didn't even remember I was waiting
for a cool out. You know, the human, the human,
the mind is so it's so powerful if you either
say you're superman or put your head in the stand,

because if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen. Don't worry
about it, or it's gonna say. I ain't gonna let it.
She get to me, and I'm gonna be an example
of it. So I hope that the people would would
talking to right now, gonna be the example and push
those people and educate people. And man, I can't thank
you guy enough. Ryan, thank you so much for being

public about it dot. I mean, you know ran you know, listen, Bryan,
you can be sportscasting and stuff. Yeah, make sure, yes
say it. You're doing the rial. That's that's the start
ship right there. You are investing in people and to
the American Cancer Society. I want everybody to visit you know,
cancer dot org learn more about their impact, early detection

and ways to get screamed early. What I've gotten from
this conversation is with all the forms of coverage out there,
even the lowest form you can, you can you can
get this uh checked out. You can deal it with
blood right if it's caught early. You know you can
beat it. It just sounded so much more that I

didn't even know that. I thought the not with much
row after like sixty percent with up man. You know,
thank you so much of this stuff, and thank you
to against side and Brian, we need minor words, guys,
do it? Do?

Speaker 2 (41:12):

Speaker 3 (41:12):
You know what to do? Put a put an appointment
on your phone right now, Yeah, to call, call your
doctor to get in and get screened. There is no
reason to wait, there's no excuse. You call American's say
if we can help you with something, get her done, Brian. Yeah,
And you know that's from the delastination. The devia sneaks
in between this moment when we hop up here and

you are gonna call somebody to get it done right.
If you don't do it right now, it just becomes
one of the things. I'll get to it. I'll get
to it. I'll get to it. The funny thing is
you go on vacationy, You're like, I'm gonna get a
peed up the lot with adult of one pot on
the school. As I land, you almost never forget that.
You never forget that you're gonna get that done.

Speaker 2 (41:55):
Get this done, absolutely and I just appreciate that you
man for doing this, uh, for helping us getting the
word out there.

Speaker 3 (42:03):

Speaker 2 (42:03):
You know, I appreciate you. I appreciate all of y'all
who have this type of work. Man, and you have
these things that are blessed are really helping and treating people,
obviously American Cancer Society, because they're not only trying to
eradicate this disease, but they're doing all that they can
and help people who have been afflicted with cancer. Any
any amount, I mean, whether it's five dollars, two dollars, whatever,
you can help go the long long way to that

testing that you talked about.

Speaker 3 (42:27):
Damon for those who don't have the need to get
that test made.

Speaker 2 (42:31):
This brothers, as men go, I'm telling you, had I
not done it, I would.

Speaker 3 (42:39):
Not be here right now. Just man up and go.
And ladies, we're talking about you too. From pulling off
from capture everything everything. We're not only talking about that,
we're talking about this at the moment. Please, I mean
you know uh uh you know speed killers and in
this sense, seed kills cancer. You get it done, you

will kill cancer. You'll be here to love those little
beautiful babies and family of yours and make change and
stuff like that. So thank you guys for being here.
I appreciate everybody. Thank you for cast Society, and thank
you all that a lot of people here have lost people,
and my art does go out to all of you
because it's not even And you know what, don't let
those people the loss of those people going, baby, they

probably suffer, so you won't have to, won't. That Moment
with Damon John is a production of the Black Effect
Podcast Network. For more podcasts from the Black Effect Podcast Network,
visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen

to your favorite show, and don't forget to subscribe to
and rate the show. And of course you can all
connect with me on any of my social media platforms.
At the Shark, Damon spelled like Raymond, but what a
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