CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- When the news broke about the passing of Chadwick Boseman, the world stood still.
Boseman hit the big screen playing the roles of American heroes like Jackie Robinson while reaching superhero glory himself, joining the Marvel cast as the Black Panther.
Friday, it was announced that Chadwick Boseman had died of colon cancer at the age of 43.
Doctor Marshall Horton talks about the severity of the disease.
“Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States taking the lives of about 50 thousand people a year.”
Doctor Horton says the general age to have colon screenings is age 50 but recommends African Americans to get screened even earlier.
“African Americans tend to develop the disease at a younger age, have more aggressive disease, and have a greater risk of dying from the disease. Many organizations are now recommending that African Americans start getting screened at age 45.”
According to Doctor Horton, young adults must have a family history of the disease to be approved to have a colonoscopy procedure at an earlier age.
“Another reason to be screened earlier is there’s an underlying diagnosis of some condition that can increase the risk of colon cancer such as crohn’s or ulcer colitis. Also there are inherited family cancer syndromes.”
Doctor Horton is involved with the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation and says their goal is to increase colon cancer awareness and screenings.
30 percent of the population who are at the recommended age to get a colonoscopy don’t take part in the procedure. Dr. Horton wants to remind people that more lives can be saved through colonoscopy.
There are other screening avenues for younger adults as well.
For more information, here is a link to the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation website: https://www.gcccf.org/