Alonzo Mourning reveals cancer diagnosis, urges men to get their blood tested and PSA checked

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According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning recently had surgery to remove his prostate. He was diagnosed with Stage 3 prostate cancer.

Mourning encouraged men to get their prostates checked in a recent interview with ESPN. Men whose families have a history of prostate cancer as well as Black men are those who are at risk of catching the disease.

“What scares me about this disease is that there are so many men walking around feeling great and have that cancer in them and they don’t know it,” Mourning told ESPN. “The only way to find out is to get their blood tested and get their PSA checked. There are 3.3 million men living in the U.S. with prostate cancer, and many don’t even know it. I was one of those guys.”

Prostate cancer is quite common among men living in the United States. It is the second-leading cause of cancer in country, though, fortunately, it is treatable in most cases.

Per the American Cancer Society, localized and regionalized prostate cancer treatment have a five-year survival rate of 99 percent.

The 54-year-old recalled a conversation he had with urologic oncologist Dr. Sanoj Punnen regarding his high PSA levels that indicated a high level of prostate cancer.

“And Dr. Punnen tells me, ‘I want to get a PET scan immediately to make sure cancer hasn’t spread through your body,'” Mourning told ESPN. “I was in shock. I can’t tell you enough about how well my body felt. I was in top-notch shape — running sprints, strong. The doctor told me that he couldn’t believe I had had a kidney transplant.

“My partner, Mariona, is waiting for me outside the PET scan, and we are nervous as hell. I’m sitting in the machine with my arms over my head and my mind racing — waiting for the technician to read the scan. We ended up in a cold waiting room waiting for the tech to come in and finally he looks at us and says he’s got good news: The cancer is still in the [prostate] capsule and hasn’t spread.”

Mourning, who spent the majority of his 15 seasons in the NBA with the Heat, is one of the most accomplished players in franchise history. The big man was an intimidating rim protector first and foremost, as he is Miami’s all-time leader in total blocks (1,625) and blocks per contest (2.7).

But Mourning brought a lot more to the table outside of blocking shots at a high rate. He was also one of the better rebounders and scorers in the NBA during his time in Miami. Across 593 total regular-season appearances with the Heat (458 starts), he averaged 16.0 points per game on an efficient 53.7 percent shooting from the field as well as 8.1 rebounds per game.

In addition to the gaudy individual numbers that Mourning put up as a member of the Heat organization, he won a title with the team in 2006 during the tail end of his NBA career.

Here’s to hoping that one of the greatest big men in NBA history in Mourning will go on to live a long and happy life in light of getting his prostate removed.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.