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NBA legend Grant Hill is putting the focus on empowering individuals to take charge of their health. The basketball player-turned-broadcaster is teaming up with the biopharmaceutical company, Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, to spread awareness about the racial health disparities surrounding prostate cancer through the creation of a new initiative.

Studies show that Black men are 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than white men. Further research revealed one in seven African American men would develop the form of cancer within their lifetime. Contributing factors include the lack of access to equitable preventive care, which often stems from socioeconomic-related barriers. The campaign—dubbed Start Strong—was launched to bring attention to the staggering statistics, encourage individuals to take actionable steps towards seeking the best treatment for better outcomes through regular screenings and foster conversations around what can be done to change the narrative.

Hill believes addressing the disproportionate impact prostate cancer has on Black men starts with educating individuals about their options. “Prostate cancer is a risk for all men, but it disproportionately impacts African American men. In fact, African American men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with and two and a half times more likely to die from prostate cancer than Caucasian men,” he said in a statement. “When I learned about this disparity, I felt compelled to help educate African American men about the burden of prostate cancer and the potential treatments that can help them manage it. During the upcoming holiday season, many of us will be safely reconnecting with family, and I encourage you to take time to speak with your loved ones about their health. Every second counts when it comes to your health, so it’s crucial that men develop a treatment game plan with their doctor.”

The Start Strong campaign is one of many initiatives that has been launched to spread awareness about racial health disparities and prostate cancer. Businessman and philanthropist Robert F. Smith teamed up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation for the development of an affordable test that would detect early signs of prostate cancer and ultimately help with risk management.


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