By Kate Ward
Updated February 09, 2010 at 11:24 PM EST

The Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., released a statement today, revealing his struggle with prostate cancer. According to the statement, Gossett decided to go public with his illness “to set an example for the large number of African-American men who are victims of this disease because of the comparatively low emphasis in our community on preventative examinations and early treatment.”

Gossett’s cancer is in its early stages, and the actor has begun treatment.