DOCTORS SAY IS AN ALARMING TREND. REPORTER: PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF 45 ARE STILL IN THE MINORITY OF CASES. BUT DOCTORS SAY THE NUMBERS ARE GOING UP AT AN ALARMING RATE. >> IT WAS A SURPRISE AND A SHOCK BECAUSE NOBODY IN OUR FAMILY HAS BEEN THROUGH IT. REPORTER: MARCI COOKE WAS JUST 37 WHEN SHE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE THREE COLON CANCER. SHE WAS HEARTBROKEN WHEN SHE HEARD ABOUT ORIOLES PLAYER TREY MANCINI, DIAGNOSED AT 28, AND ACTOR CHADWICK BOSMAN WHO LOST HIS BATTLE OVER THE WEEKEND AT AGE 43. >> YOU JUST NEED TO HAVE PEOPLE START THINKING, MAYBE WE NEED TO PUT OUT — NEED TO LOOK OUTSIDE THAT BOX WE PUT YOUNG PEOPLE IN AND GET THEM TO SCREEN MORE FOR THIS DEADLY DISEASE. REPORTER: DR. JOSHUA WOLF, A COLORECTAL SURGEON WITH LIFEBRIDGE HEALTH SAYS THE RATE OF YOUNG PEOPLE GETTING COLON CANCER HAS BEEN RISING 2% A YEAR FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. NO ONE IS SURE WHY BUT HE AGREES THAT SCREENING IS THE BEST WAY TO CATCH IT EARLY. >> EARLY STAGE COLORECTAL CANCER MEANING IT IS PICKED UP WHEN IT IS SMALL AND WHEN IT HASN’T SPREAD, HAS A GREAT PROGNOSIS. WHEN IT IS FOUND LATER, UNFORTUNATELY, IT IS HARDER TO TREAT AND THE PROGNOSIS IS NOT AS FAVORABLE. REPORTER: THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY RECOMMENDS COLONOSCOPIES STARTING AT AGE 45, BUT EARLIER IF THERE IS A FAMILY HISTORY OR IF YOU ARE HAVING SYMPTOMS. THOSE INCLUDE RECTAL BLEEDING, UNEXPLAINED ABDOMINAL PAIN, CHANGES IN STOOL AND UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS. WITHOUT SYMPTOMS, AN AVERAGE RISK PERSON COULD START WITH AN AT HOME STOOL TESTING KIT. >> THAT’S PERFECTLY FINE TO START WITH. BUT IF THERE IS ANYTHING POSITIVE, IT REALLY REQUIRES A COLONOSCOPY. REPORTER: MARCI COOKE UNDERWENT SURGERY AND CHEMOTHERAPY AND 12 YEARS LATER IS STILL CANCER FREE. HER SISTERS, NOW HIGH-RISK, UNDERGO REGULAR SCREENINGS. HER ADVICE IS TO KNOW YOUR BODY, FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS AND GET YOURSELF TO A DOCTOR. >> IF THEY SAY DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT, YOU NEED TO PUSH IT AND SAY THIS ISN’T RIGHT, THIS IS IN ME. AND TRY TO SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF AND BE YOUR ADVOCATE. REPORTER: FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COLON CANCER AND SCREENING YOU CAN FIND A LINK ON OUR WEBSITE, WBALTV.CO

Chadwick Boseman’s death is a tragic reminder that colon cancer rates are rising in young people

Share

Shares

  • Copy Link

    {copyShortcut} to copy Link copied!

Updated: 11:02 AM CDT Sep 1, 2020

At just 43 years old, “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman has died of colon cancer in his home with his wife and family by his side, according to a message shared on his Instagram page. He was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, and it eventually progressed to stage 4. Colorectal cancers, which include colon cancer, are the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS estimates that more than 104,610 new cases of colon cancer and more than 43,000 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed this year.“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the post said. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. 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.”The post also said that it was “the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in ‘Black Panther.’”Several people in the comments wrote that the actor was “gone too soon.” Unfortunately, Boseman’s death from colon cancer at a young age isn’t rare.While the rate at which people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the U.S. is dropping among people who are 65 and older, it’s rising in younger people, per data from the ACS. In fact, an estimated 12% of colorectal cancer cases — about 18,000 — will be diagnosed in people under the age of 50.Why are colon cancer rates and deaths rising in young people?Research shows that colon cancer rates in adults under 50 have been rising since the mid-80s, the ACS says, and younger age groups have seen the sharpest increases.A 2017 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that people younger than 55 are 58% more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage colorectal cancer than older people. This is “largely due to delayed follow-up of symptoms, sometimes for years, because cancer is typically not on the radar of young adults or their providers,” the authors wrote. For a seemingly healthy person in their 30s, for example, the early warning signs of the disease — like stomach pain, gas, or unusual bowel movements — may feel a lot more like other GI issues than cancer, leading to delayed testing.Experts are still trying to figure out which underlying environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors could play a role in the rise of colon cancer in young people. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, a diet high in red or processed meats, smoking, a family history of colorectal polyps or cancer, among other factors can all increase a person’s risk.It’s also important to note there are racial disparities. African Americans have one of the worst colon cancer survival rates of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S., per a March 2020 report from the ACS. “Colorectal cancer rates are about 20% higher in Blacks than non-Hispanic whites, but death rates are almost 40% higher in Blacks,” the report states. “Among Alaska Natives, death rates are about double those in Blacks.”One 2016 review of research suggests that the increased likelihood of discovering an advanced colorectal tumor in African Americans could be due to lower screening rates in minorities, the disease presenting itself at a later, harder-to-treat stage, or inadequate access to health care.What are the symptoms of colon cancer?Spotting the symptoms of colon cancer early on is crucial. In fact, the colon cancer survival rate is about 90% if caught in the early stages, when the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. These are the signs to note: A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few daysA feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing soRectal bleedingDark stools, or blood in the stoolCramping or stomach painWeakness and fatigueUnintended weight lossThe ACS currently recommends that people of average risk start screening at age 45, while people with a family history of the disease or other risk factors should talk to their doctor about getting screened earlier. “Cancer can be prevented during screening colonoscopies where precancerous polyps can be removed before they have a chance to progress to cancer,” David Liska, M.D., a colorectal surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, previously told Prevention.com.So if you notice any of the signs above, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor and be persistent about testing if you suspect something is wrong — it could save your life.Support from readers like you helps us do our best work. Go here to subscribe to Prevention and get 12 FREE gifts. And sign up for our FREE newsletter here for daily health, nutrition, and fitness advice.

At just 43 years old, “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman has died of colon cancer in his home with his wife and family by his side, according to a message shared on his Instagram page. He was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, and it eventually progressed to stage 4.

Colorectal cancers, which include colon cancer, are the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS estimates that more than 104,610 new cases of colon cancer and more than 43,000 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed this year.

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the post said. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. 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.”

The post also said that it was “the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in ‘Black Panther.’”

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Several people in the comments wrote that the actor was “gone too soon.” Unfortunately, Boseman’s death from colon cancer at a young age isn’t rare.

While the rate at which people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the U.S. is dropping among people who are 65 and older, it’s rising in younger people, per data from the ACS. In fact, an estimated 12% of colorectal cancer cases — about 18,000 — will be diagnosed in people under the age of 50.

Why are colon cancer rates and deaths rising in young people?

Research shows that colon cancer rates in adults under 50 have been rising since the mid-80s, the ACS says, and younger age groups have seen the sharpest increases.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that people younger than 55 are 58% more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage colorectal cancer than older people. This is “largely due to delayed follow-up of symptoms, sometimes for years, because cancer is typically not on the radar of young adults or their providers,” the authors wrote.

For a seemingly healthy person in their 30s, for example, the early warning signs of the disease — like stomach pain, gas, or unusual bowel movements — may feel a lot more like other GI issues than cancer, leading to delayed testing.

Experts are still trying to figure out which underlying environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors could play a role in the rise of colon cancer in young people. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, a diet high in red or processed meats, smoking, a family history of colorectal polyps or cancer, among other factors can all increase a person’s risk.

It’s also important to note there are racial disparities. African Americans have one of the worst colon cancer survival rates of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S., per a March 2020 report from the ACS. “Colorectal cancer rates are about 20% higher in Blacks than non-Hispanic whites, but death rates are almost 40% higher in Blacks,” the report states. “Among Alaska Natives, death rates are about double those in Blacks.”

One 2016 review of research suggests that the increased likelihood of discovering an advanced colorectal tumor in African Americans could be due to lower screening rates in minorities, the disease presenting itself at a later, harder-to-treat stage, or inadequate access to health care.

What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

Spotting the symptoms of colon cancer early on is crucial. In fact, the colon cancer survival rate is about 90% if caught in the early stages, when the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. These are the signs to note:

  • A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
  • A feeling that 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 stomach pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

The ACS currently recommends that people of average risk start screening at age 45, while people with a family history of the disease or other risk factors should talk to their doctor about getting screened earlier.

“Cancer can be prevented during screening colonoscopies where precancerous polyps can be removed before they have a chance to progress to cancer,” David Liska, M.D., a colorectal surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, previously told Prevention.com.

So if you notice any of the signs above, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor and be persistent about testing if you suspect something is wrong — it could save your life.

Support from readers like you helps us do our best work. Go here to subscribe to Prevention and get 12 FREE gifts. And sign up for our FREE newsletter here for daily health, nutrition, and fitness advice.

Source