Following the news of the Black Panther star’s untimely death from colon (or colorectal) cancer, many fans across the world were left asking why and how this happened – and seeking to better understand the illness that took the life an actor truly living out his purpose? Boseman’s death as a Black man at such a young age left many wondering if colon cancer disproportionately impacts the Black community, and if so, in what specific ways?
According to the American Cancer Society, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to get colorectal cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from it than other groups, making proper screenings and early diagnosis extremely important for Black people. Black men also have the highest incidence rate.
“Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the country,” said Durado Brooks, M.D., who serves as VP of Prevention and Early Detection at the American Cancer Society. “This disease is ravaging the Black community and it is as important as ever that everyone has access to and is receiving the recommended screenings. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, necessary screening tests remain available to prevent the disease or find it at an early, more treatable stage.”