Medical community sees increase in colon cancer cases among youth

The news of Chadwick Boseman’s death shocked many around the world. The ‘Black Panther’ actor died Friday after his family says he was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago.

News 12 Staff

Sep 4, 2020, 12:12 AM

Updated 1,362 days ago

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The news of Chadwick Boseman’s death shocked many around the world. The ‘Black Panther’ actor died Friday after his family says he was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago. 
Boseman was only 43 years old, and while screening is generally recommended at the age of 50, the medical community is seeing a trend in cases. 
"With increased screening and increased detection of genetic abnormalities. we're seeing increased incidents of colon cancer in younger ages,” said Dr. Victoria Forte.
Dr. Forte says there are several risk factors including smoking, alcohol use, red meat and family history--but one group in particular is more at risk.  
"Unfortunately, African Americans have a higher incidence of colon cancer and anyone who is African American should really speak to their doctor sooner rather than later regarding the screening process,” said Dr. Forte. 
A colonoscopy is the best way to screen for the cancer and there is some hope for the future. 
"Survival rates are going up, screening is getting better, targeted therapies are getting better,” said Dr. Forte. 
Screening is available at all NYC Health + Hospital sites, but people do have to make an appointment beforehand.
 


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