‘Black Panther’ Star Boseman Dies of Cancer at 43

August 29, 2020 – Marvel Comics 2018 Megahit Star Chadwick Boseman Black Panther, died of colon cancer on Friday.

Boseman, first diagnosed 4 years ago, had kept his diagnosis a secret.

He has filmed his recent films “during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy”, according to a statement posted on his Twitter account. When the 43-year-old actor was first diagnosed in 2016, the cancer was in stage III – meaning it had already grown through the wall of the colon – but then progressed to much more stage IV fatal, meaning it had spread beyond his colon.

Condolence messages and hashtag #Wakandaforever, referring to the fictional African nation in the Black Panther movie, flooded social media Friday night. Oprah tweeted: “What a sweet gifted Soul. Showing us all this greatness between surgeries and chemotherapy. The courage, the strength, the power it takes to do this. That’s what dignity looks like.”

Marvel Studios, producer of Black Panther, tweeted: “Your legacy will live on forever.” Boseman was also known for his role as Jackie Robinson in the film 42. Coincidentally, Friday was Major League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day, where every player on each team wears Robinson’s number 42 on their jerseys.

Boseman’s other main roles include the role of James Brown in Go up and United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall Marshall. But his role as King T’Challa in Black Panther, the protagonist of the superhero, made him an icon and an inspiration.

About colon cancer

Boseman’s tragic death reflects a disturbing recent trend, says Mark Hanna, MD, colorectal surgeon at City of Hope, a full-service cancer center near Los Angeles. “We have noticed an increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults,” says Hanna, who did not treat Boseman. “I have seen patients as young as their early twenties.”

About 104,000 cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed this year, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society, and another 43,000 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed. About 12% of these cases, or 18,000 cases, will involve people under the age of 50. As the rates have declined among older adults, due to screening, the rates among young adults have increased steadily.

Younger patients are often diagnosed at a later stage than older adults, Hanna says, because patients and even their doctors don’t think about the possibility of colon cancer. Because it’s considered a cancer affecting the elderly, many young people can get rid of symptoms or delay seeking medical attention, Hanna says.

In a survey of 885 colorectal cancer patients conducted by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance earlier this year, 75% said they saw two or more doctors before getting their diagnosis, and 11% went to 10 or more. more before you find out.

If caught early, colon cancer is very curable, says Hanna. About 50% of people with colon cancer will be diagnosed with stage I or II, which is considered localized disease, he says. “The majority have a very good prognosis.” 5-year survival is approximately 90% for stages I and II. However, when it goes into stage III, the cancer has started growing in the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes, Hanna says, and 5-year survival drops to 75%. About 25% of patients are diagnosed with stage III, he says. If the diagnosis is made at stage IV, the 5-year survival drops to about 10 or 15%, he says.

Experts have tried to figure out why more young adults get colon cancer and why some do it badly. “Traditionally, we thought older patients would have poorer prospects,” Hanna says, in part because they tend to have more coexisting health issues.

Some experts say younger patients might have more “genetically aggressive diseases,” Hanna says. “Our understanding of colorectal cancer is increasingly nuanced and we know that not all forms are the same.” For example, he says, tests are done for specific genetic mutations that have been linked to colon cancer. “It’s not just about finding the mutations, it’s also about finding the drug that targets [that form] better.”

Watch out for red flags

“If you have what we call the warning signs, don’t ignore your symptoms regardless of your age,” Hanna says. Those are:

In 2018, the American Cancer Society changed its screening guidelines, recommending people at average risk start at age 45, not age 50. Screening can be based on stool, such as an occult fecal blood test, or visual, such as a colonoscopy. .

Hanna says he orders a colonoscopy if symptoms suggest colon cancer, regardless of the patient’s age.

Family history is a risk factor, as is obesity or overweight, a sedentary lifestyle or a diet rich in red meat.


Mark Hanna, MD, colorectal surgeon and assistant clinical professor of surgery, City of Hope, Los Angeles.

American Cancer Society: “Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer”.

Twitter statement: Chadwick Boseman.

American Cancer Society: “Risk factors for colorectal cancer”.

American Cancer Society: “Rising rates of colorectal cancer in young adults”.

American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, May 29-31, 2020.

American Cancer Society “Survival Rates for Colorectal Cancer”.

American Cancer Society: “Colorectal Cancer Facts and Figures: 2017-2019”.

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