Death of Chadwick Boseman raises awareness for colon cancer

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, 43, died of colon cancer on Friday.

Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante said.

Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more – all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”

Colon, or colorectal cancer, is any cancer involving the large intestine and/or rectum.

The American Cancer Society says colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States.

In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men and women combined.

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer disproportionately effects the Black community, as they have the highest rates of colon cancer of any racial group in the United States.

Dr. Abisola Olulade joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss colon cancer and the risk factors, symptoms and when should you get screened.

“It is important to know that colon cancer is more common in older people we are seeing high rates of this in younger people as well,” said Dr. Olulade.

According to the American Cancer Society, symptoms and signs of colon cancer include a change in bowl habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days, a feeling you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so, rectal bleeding, dark stools or blood in the stool, cramping or abdominal pain, weakness and fatigue and unintended weight loss.

The ACS recommends that people at average risk* of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45.

This can be done either with a sensitive test that looks for signs of cancer in a person’s stool (a stool-based test), or with an exam that looks at the colon and rectum (a visual exam).

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