Chadwick Boseman’s death raises awareness about colon cancer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Chadwick Boseman’s death is leading many to learn more about colon cancer.

Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the country. Health officials say it is killing more younger people and people of color every year.
Dr. Melissa Murphy, Chief of Surgery at Kent Hospital says colon cancer is no longer considered an older person’s disease.
She says more and more young people under the age of 40 are being diagnosed with the disease.
Dr. Murphy said,  “The number of people over 65 are decreasing and people younger than age 50 the rate is increasing over the past several years. I’ve taken care of patients in their 30’s and 40’s .”
The CDC recommends that screening for colon cancer should begin at age 50, but the American Cancer Society suggests starting at age 45.
Black men and women are also experiencing higher rates of the disease.
Dr. Murphy said, “Not only do they have a higher diagnosis, they also tend to have worse outcomes.”
Young people are getting diagnosed much later, Murphy said, and many are too embarrassed to talk to their doctor about it.
She hopes the death of Chadwick Boseman will bring more awareness to the deadly disease that’s expected to kill 50 thousand people this year alone.
“This is a preventable disease so we have to start the conversation to start decreasing those rates.”
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