Aug. 29, 2020 — Chadwick Boseman, the star of the 2018 Marvel Studios megahit Black Panther, died of colon cancer Friday. He was forty three.

Boseman, who was diagnosed 4 a long time ago, experienced retained his condition a secret. He filmed his new flicks ”during and involving innumerable surgical procedures and chemotherapy,” in accordance to a statement issued on his Twitter account.

When the actor was diagnosed in 2016, the cancer was at phase III — that means it experienced now developed via the colon wall — but then progressed to the much more deadly phase IV, that means it experienced distribute past his colon.

Messages of condolences and the hashtag #Wakandaforever, referring to the fictional African country in the Black Panther film, flooded social media Friday night. Oprah tweeted: “What a mild gifted SOUL. Demonstrating us all that Greatness in involving surgical procedures and chemo. The bravery, the power, the Ability it takes to do that. This is what Dignity looks like. “

Marvel Studios tweeted: “Your legacy will are living on eternally.”

Boseman was also recognized for his part as Jackie Robinson in the movie forty two. Coincidentally, Friday was Main League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day, in which just about every participant on just about every group wears Robinson’s variety forty two on their jerseys.

Boseman’s other starring roles involve portraying James Brown in Get on Up and U.S. Supreme Courtroom Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. But his part as King T’Challa in Black Panther, the super hero protagonist, made him an icon and an inspiration.

About Colon Cancer

Boseman’s death displays a troubling new trend, says Mark Hanna, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Metropolis of Hope, a thorough cancer heart near Los Angeles. “We have recognized an expanding incidence of colorectal cancer in youthful grownups,” says Hanna, who did not deal with Boseman. “I’ve found patients as youthful as their early 20s.”

About 104,000 situations of colon cancer will be diagnosed this calendar year, in accordance to American Cancer Society estimates, and yet another forty three,000 situations of rectal cancer will be diagnosed. About twelve% of all those, or 18,000 situations, will be in people today underneath age fifty. As the fees have declined in older adults due to screening, fees in youthful grownups have steadily risen.

More youthful patients are generally diagnosed at a afterwards phase than older grownups, Hanna says, due to the fact patients and even their medical professionals do not think about the risk of colon cancer. For the reason that it is regarded as a cancer influencing older grownups, a lot of young people today may brush off the signs or delay receiving professional medical focus, Hanna says.

In a survey of 885 colorectal cancer patients carried out by Colorectal Cancer Alliance earlier this calendar year, seventy five% claimed they visited two or much more medical professionals right before receiving their prognosis, and eleven% went to 10 or much more right before discovering out.

If found early, colon cancer is curable, Hanna says. About fifty% of all those with colon cancer will be diagnosed at phase I or II, which is regarded as localized illness, he says. “The greater part have a pretty good prognosis.” The 5-calendar year survival price is about 90% for both equally phase I and II.

But when it progresses to phase III, the cancer has started to improve into encompassing tissues and the lymph nodes, Hanna says, and the survival price for 5 a long time drops to seventy five%. About twenty five% of patients are diagnosed at phase III, he says.

If the prognosis is made at phase IV, the 5-calendar year survival price drops to about 10% or 15%, he says.

Gurus have been striving to figure out why much more youthful grownups are receiving colon cancer and why some do so inadequately. “Usually we assumed that patients who are older would have a even worse outlook,” Hanna says, partly due to the fact they tend to have other professional medical circumstances too.

Some specialists say that young patients could possibly have much more ”genetically intense illness,” Hanna says. “Our knowing of colorectal cancer is becoming much more nuanced, and we know that not all kinds are the exact.” For occasion, he says, screening is accomplished for specific genetic mutations that have been tied to colon cancer. “It really is not just about discovering the mutations, but discovering the drug that targets [that type] most effective.”

Shelling out Focus to Red Flags

“If you have any of what we get in touch with the pink flag symptoms, do not ignore your signs no subject what your age is,” Hanna says. These are:

In 2018, the American Cancer Society improved its suggestions for screening, recommending all those at typical risk start off at age 45, not fifty. The screening can be stool-based mostly screening, these as a fecal occult blood test, or visible, these as a colonoscopy.

Hanna says he orders a colonoscopy if the signs recommend colon cancer, irrespective of a patient’s age.

Family members history of colorectal cancer is a risk component, as are remaining overweight or over weight, remaining sedentary, and feeding on loads of pink meat.


Mark Hanna, MD, colorectal surgeon and assistant clinical professor of operation, Metropolis of Hope, Los Angeles. 

American Cancer Society: “Important Studies for Colorectal Cancer.”

Twitter statement: Chadwick Boseman.

American Cancer Society: “Colorectal Cancer Hazard Aspects.”

American Cancer Society: ‘”Colorectal Cancer Charges Rise in More youthful Adults.”

American Society of Clinical Oncology once-a-year assembly, Could 29-31, 2020.

American Cancer Society “Survival Charges for Colorectal Cancer.”

American Cancer Society: “Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures: 2017-2019.”

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