Colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, claimed the life of 43-year-old actor Chadwick Boseman (“Black Panther,” “42,” among others) on Friday, August 28. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 147,950 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2020, with 53,200 people dying from the disease. Blacks have the highest rates of colorectal cancer in any racial/ethnic group in the United States, and an estimated 19,740 cases of the disease were expected to occur among Blacks in 2019, the organization said. While the overall death rate for colorectal cancer patients has continued to drop, deaths among people younger than age 55 increased 1% per year from 2008 to 2017, the ACS said.
Screening has the potential to detect and even prevent colorectal cancer because polyps (precursors to cancer) can be removed during a colonoscopy. Men and women should begin screening for colorectal cancer at the age of 45, the ACS said. University of Illinois Cancer Center member Shikha Jain, MD, discussed the disease on two morning news programs on Monday, August 31. The first interview was conducted on NBC Channel 5, with the second airing on FOX Channel 32.