The death of Chadwick Boseman after battling colon cancer is raising discussions about the disease. We can hope that the awareness of early screening for colorectal cancers will also increase. Boseman was 43 when he died. His family told me that he had been undergoing various treatment types, which included surgeries and chemotherapy for the past four years.
After lung and breast cancer, colon cancer is the third most common cancer type in the United States. The American cancer association has reported this. Another scary fact is that almost 53,200 people might die from colorectal cancer in the year 2020.
Worldwide, among various ethnic groups, Ashkenazi Jews have one of the highest risks of getting colorectal cancer. In the USA, among various ethnic groups, African Americans have the highest rate of colorectal cancer occurrences. Not only cancer occurrences, but death rates due to colorectal cancer is also the highest among African-Americans. Here are some more facts about the deadly disease
It affects both men and women of all ethnicities
Colon cancer can affect both men and women of all ethnicities. And the lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is almost 4-5% among both men and women. This risk increases with age, irrespective of race, and ethnicities. This risk is slightly higher among African-Americans. While there is no reliable data available on what makes them the vulnerable group, research shows that 1 in 41 among African-American men die of colon cancer in comparison to 1 in 47 white men.
Colon cancer may be hereditary
Those who have members in the family with a history of colon cancer are two to five times more susceptible than those without a family history. Some people, unfortunately, may inherit colon cancer syndromes. This increases their risk of the disease to almost 100%. This is an extremely frightening fact, but unfortunately, this is true.
People with colon cancer might not exhibit symptoms
During the early stages of colon cancer, it is entirely possible that people feel no symptoms at all and feel incredibly healthy. Subtle signs of the disease may range from fatigue, weakness, weight loss, abdominal pain, and may even have rectal bleeding in few cases.
Screening saves lives
One of the most critical facts about colon cancer screening is that there is a 5-year survival rate after the detection and treatment of early-stage colon cancer. And the possibility of survival is as high as 90%. However, if the detection is late, the survival rate can drop from 90% to 12%. This implies that if detected early, colon cancer can be treated and can give the patient a new lease of life.
Healthy habits may reduce the risk of colon cancer
Healthy habits include eating fruits and vegetables, including whole-grain fiber, and eating foods that low in fat content. Avoiding tobacco usage and reduce alcohol intake helps decrease the risk of colon cancer. The other important fact is that one must exercise regularly. It is also vital for one to maintain constant body weight as it can be extremely beneficial to have good health.
Experts are still trying to find out which of the various underlying factors ranging from but not limited to environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors may result in colon cancer among people of various races and ethnicities. As mentioned earlier, African-Americans have one of the worst survival rates due to colon cancer. The death of Chadwick Boseman has not resulted in creating awareness about colon cancer in the world. This has also highlighted the fact that African-Americans are more prone to the disease than ever. After the death of Chadwick Boseman, several celebrities have spoken about the importance of getting tested for cancer, as this can aid the treatment.
Sadly, a famous person’s death is needed to speak about and create awareness about one of the deadly diseases that has affected so many people worldwide. However, we must be thankful that more people are now aware of the fatal disease than ever before. We hope testing for cancer is not a taboo topic anymore. Let us hope and pray that the death caused by colon cancer decreases throughout the world. And eventually, the world becomes a better and safer place to live in. Most importantly, let us hope that 2020 does not throw any more unpleasant surprises our way!