Alonzo Mourning, NBA

Alonzo Mourning Urges Checkups After Having Prostate Removed

Former NBA center Alonzo Mourning is urging regular checkups for men after having his prostate removed, according to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Mourning, 54, is a seven-time All-Star and NBA champion and suggested a screening may have saved his life.

"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 the second-leading cause of cancer among men in the United States, per the American Cancer Society. But it can go undetected and spread if not handled quickly. So it makes sense for Mourning to preach about regular screenings.

"Life was good and amazing for me, but if I had ignored getting checked and let this go, the cancer would've spread through my body," Mourning said, via Woj. "Unfortunately, as men, we don't like to go to the doctor, but this is the only way to find out what's going on in your body. Prostate and even colon cancer are silent killers and many men won't get those diagnosis until it's too late.

"We live in a world where it's taboo among men to talk about health issues. If I didn't get routine checkups, I probably wouldn't be here to talk about this. I want men to be proactive with their health."

Mourning spent time with the Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat and New Jersey(now Brooklyn) Nets during a career that spanned from 1992-2008. He was selected with the No.2 overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft out of Georgetown.