Richard Roundtree Speaks Out About Breast Cancer

Family history is important to share, she continues, because people with a higher genetic risk for developing breast and other cancers should be more vigilant about breast self exams and getting regular mammograms. 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.

"I think it's also up to the primary care physician to do a better job," says Daly. "They need to be more aware of family history in male patients, which will also encourage that conversation between men and their families."

As for Roundtree, he has overcome his reticence.

"I don't know if it's a racial thing or not, but it's hard for the Roundtrees to talk about health issues. People have to get over all that stuff," he says.

"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."

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