“The Colorectal Cancer Alliance mourns with Chadwick Boseman’s fans, friends, and family over the loss of this bright star to colon cancer,” said a message from Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “Somberly, we share that young-onset colorectal cancer is on the rise and cuts short thousands of lives every year.
“Colorectal cancer benefits from an intense stigma, particularly in the Black community. Cancer is a personal battle, and we respect Boseman’s choice to shield the public from his diagnosis. The Alliance, however, encourages open conversations about this disease. Even superheroes can develop colorectal cancer.
“Colorectal cancer is the second-deadliest cancer in the US when men and women are combined, and it disproportionately affects our black and brown communities. With education and awareness to defeat the stigma, resources for those diagnosed, and innovative research toward cures, we can end colorectal cancer in our lifetime.”
The message closed with a hashtag: #ChadwickForever.
The charity also cited some American Cancer Society statistics:
Key stats regarding colorectal cancer and African Americans:
- Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both black men and women
- 1 in 41 black males will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime
- An estimated 19,740 cases of colorectal cancer were projected to occur in 2019
- African Americans have the highest rates of colorectal cancer of any racial/ethnic group in the US.
- Death rates are 47% higher in black men and 34% higher in black women
- Colorectal cancer screening should begin at 45 years old in African Americans and even earlier if there is a family history or existing symptoms.
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