NBA legend raising awareness after cancer fight

By Kyle Hightower

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 15 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

"No doubt about. I want to raise awareness in all communities," Robertson said. "Naturally I want to reach out to the African-American community because it's not as educated about this or may not be as proactive in utilizing some of these new medical advances.

"Years ago, born in small-town Tennessee, I seldom went to doctors. I didn't know about early detection, or about heart attack prevention or anything. Nobody knew about prostate cancer unless it killed them. If you got high blood pressure it was just something you lived with...If getting my prostate taken out and talking about my experience can help anybody, I'd like to do so."

He said he hopes his story strikes right historical apprehensions.

"Sometimes you feel like it's a situation you're not quite comfortable with," Robertson said. "But being comfortable with something that can take you out — there's no decision to make. You should have it done. If I can get some basketball players to get involved, I think it's for the best."

Patel said the effect of Robertson's revelation is noticeable.

"We can see people calling and being screened. He's having an impact already," he said. "I spoke to him and told him every time he speaks on this issue he's gonna save a life and people are going to get screened."

It's just second nature for a man who has found greatness in virtually everything he's encountered.

"I feel like a man does what he has to do," Robertson said. "I like to help someone not because I have entitlement. I just feel if people get early detection can live a little bit longer. That's all I want for myself or anybody."

Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://twitter.com/khightower.

Try out the new DeseretNews.com design!
try beta learn more
Get The Deseret News Everywhere