Cancer Type – Breast
Short Bio – Richard Roundtree one of the first male celebrities to advocate for breast cancer. Diagnosed with the disease in 1993 it took him over 5 years to tell the world he was a survivor. Read his story here…
Story – Famous for his role in the iconic 1971 film, ‘The Shaft’, Richard Roundtree was flabbergasted when he was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993. Roundtree found a lump while filming a movie in Costa Rica. The actor kept the secret about his diagnosis for five years after he was cancer-free. At a celebrity golf tournament to raise funds for a mobile breast diagnostic unit, he stood up on stage and silenced the room with the shock that he was a breast cancer survivor.
Roundtree struggled with his disease, however now wants to help others. As a man, breast cancer is not common, and not something many want to discuss. His cancer was detected early, and most likely contributes to his survival.
Roundtree spends part of his time traveling the country as an advocate for breast cancer awareness, “Think about your kids,” he advises. “Sit down with your family and talk about history, about all this stuff because it can save your life. You got to be vigilant.”
Get routine screening. Know your family history. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations put family members at a higher risk of breast cancer in men and women, in addition to pancreatic and prostate cancer.
Breast cancer was never part of his script. Thank you Richard for being an advocate and a voice and helping men talk about this disease.
Richard Roundtree Breast Cancer Update
Richard Roundtree remains cancer-free for the past 27 years.
It may have taken him five years after his diagnosis but Richard since has become a great advocate for breast cancer awareness with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Know Your Score Men’s Health Initiative; taking a stand by taking part in events to help raise knowledge and money to help find a cure for this illness. Knowing your family history and early screening are a large part of early detection. Especially family history; 27 years ago there was no test for gene mutation.
Richard’s faith helped get him through his treatments after speaking to his father who he was very close with. His father told him, “don’t worry, me and my buddy God will take care of it.” Richard says “believing you can be cured is absolutely essential to survival.”
In 2016, he received the lifetime achievements in the Arts award.
Richard has been married and divorced twice, with five children from the two women.
|Born||July 9, 1942 (age 78), New Rochelle, New York, U.S.|
|Education||New Rochelle High School|
|Alma mater||Southern Illinois University|
|Known for||John Shaft – Shaft (1971), Shaft’s Big Score!, Shaft in Africa, Shaft (2000), Shaft (2019)|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Jane Grant (m. 1963; div. 1973), Karen M. Ciernia (m. 1980; div. 1998)|
Image Credits – By w:United States Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kristin Fitzsimmons (RELEASED) / Public domain