Janssen Joins Forces with Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe to Address Health Disparities in Prostate Cancer


HORSHAM, PA — The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced the recent launch of Talk That Talk™, an educational campaign and call to action to drive prostate cancer awareness and reinforce the importance of screening for early detection among Black men. Utilizing a new educational website and social media channels, Talk That Talk™ creates safe and supportive spaces to learn about prostate cancer, share resources, and take proactive steps to live healthier lives. The ultimate goal is to encourage and elevate the importance of consistent prostate cancer screenings to help reduce longstanding healthcare disparities in prostate cancer, including late-stage diagnoses and shorter life expectancies.

Shannon Sharpe, Pro Football Hall-of-Fame tight end and co-host of FOX Sports “Undisputed,” joins the effort to bring together leaders of Black communities, Black health organizations, and a team of diverse people with a shared purpose to ensure Talk That Talk™ authentically portrays the richness of the Black experience and help save the lives of Black men.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for Black men.1 Despite advances in care, Black men have the highest death rate for prostate cancer in the U.S., two times higher than most other men.2 Early detection, when the cancer is confined to the prostate or the region around it, reduces the risk of death from prostate cancer.1,3

Research has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic may have delayed prostate cancer diagnostic procedures and diagnoses. Even as the risk of COVID is minimized, patients may encounter difficulty resuming healthcare visits for routine screenings and cancer care.4

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“Too many families are losing their brothers, their fathers, their uncles, their grandfathers – pillars of our homes – to the disease,” Sharpe said. “Talk That Talk is an incredible opportunity to help save lives by getting more people to have these crucial conversations with each other and our doctors no matter how difficult it is. I’ve been so blessed many times over in life – with my career and my family – and I want to use it to help save lives.”

www.TalkThatTalkPC.com supports these conversations with downloadable resources, such as a screening checklist and a guide on talking to physicians. Talk That Talk™ Facebook and Instagram pages offer community spaces that inspire action so men don’t have to navigate this journey alone.

“The disproportionate incidence and severity of prostate cancer in Black men means they are considered a higher risk population. As such, we need to be proactive and follow the American Cancer Society recommendations to talk to a doctor about screening beginning in their early 40s,” said Dr. Fenwa Famakinwa Milhouse, a urologist and social media influencer who is partnering with Janssen on Talk That Talk™. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurement, via blood test, is one type of screening for prostate cancer.5

“There is still work to be done within our healthcare systems on behalf of patients and their communities,” said Tyrone Brewer, U.S. President, Oncology, Janssen Biotech, Inc. “Talk That Talk can help inspire a potentially lifesaving conversation, an important first step on our journey to close the prostate cancer inequity gap and part of our mission to reimagine care so that patients can redefine living.”

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1 American Cancer Society Cancer Facts & Figures for African American/Black People. American Cancer Society 2022-2024. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans/2022-2024-cff-aa.pdf. Accessed August 2022.
2 SEER Prostate Cancer Stats 2022 https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html. Accessed August 2022. 3 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures, 2022. https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2022.html. Accessed August 2022.
4 Englum et al. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on diagnosis of new cancers: A national multicenter study of the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. Cancer 2022;128: 1048-1056. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34866184/  Accessed August 2022.
5 NCCN Guidelines Prostate Cancer Early Detection Version 1.2022 https://www.nccn.org/login?ReturnURL=https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/prostate_detection.pdf Accessed August 2022.

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