Health: Reflections on Chadwick Boseman’s Death

The Story:

Chadwick Boseman, an American actor best known for his portrayal of King T’Challa in the Marvel/Disney movie “Black Panther,” died August 28, 2020.  A small circle around him had known for four years that he was engaged in a struggle with colon cancer.


The colon, or large intestine, is the final portion of the intestinal tract. In many people, small benign clusters of cells, called polyps, form on the inside of this tract. When found in an exam, they can easily be removed. When not removed, though, some of them do become cancerous over time.

Boseman was first diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 39. This is unusual. Indeed, most people don’t even begin getting regular screenings for colon cancer until they turn 50. Boseman’s death has brought attention to the facts that (a) the numbers of people who get colon cancer before 50 has been increasing in recent years, and (b) African-Americans have a greater likelihood of colon cancer than their peers of other races do.

In Pill Form:

It is important for all adults to be conscious of irregularities indicative of a problem in the colon. Bloody stool, persistent constipation, or unexplained weight loss should all be considered a good signal for an appointment with one’s primary care doctor.

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