Chadwick Bosman passes away from Colon cancer

This news has rocked us al. Chadwick Boseman was a real life hero as well as a Marvel hero. My kids are feeling his loss extremely hard today because even though we didn’t know him we loved his portrayal of King T’Challa.

At 43 this death is yet another example of how colon cancer is increasing in younger Americans.  This follows right after our own Detroit sports radio host Jamie Samuelson died.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute says colon cancer rates have risen each year since the mid-1980’s in people ages 20- to 39-years-old. There’s also been a slight uptick in the number of cases among 40- to 54-year-olds since the mid-1990’s.

The American Cancer Society now recommends colonoscopies at age 45. But if you have a close family member who has already gotten colon cancer, you should get screened at 10 years before they received their diagnosis. For example, if your Father got colon cancer at 50, you should be screened at 40.

As I am a Gastroenterologist who performs thousands of colonoscopies this is a topic very close to my heart. It takes years for polyps to develop into cancer so it can be caught quite early if you are screened.

Increased Colon Cancer Rates

One possible reason is that younger people get fewer checkups and also tend to ignore symptoms and warning signs than older adults so cancer is often in a more advanced stage when they are diagnosed. In that same vein, we are seeing a decline in colorectal cancer in older adults.

Risk Factors

  1. Family history and lifestyle
  2. Obesity
  3. Poor diet
  4. Lack of exercise

Start taking care of yourself! Stop eating junk foods that can cause inflammation and get more vegetables and fruits in your diet!  Stay active, and maintain a healthy weight. And again, Get Screened! Early detection of colorectal cancer makes a huge difference in the outcome.