“But he was so young.” What we can learn from the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman.

This week the entertainment world was rocked by the news that Chadwick Boseman, the star of the hit film Black Panther, had died at the age of 43 from colon cancer. His death, while tragic struck a chord among us not just because of his immense talent and his role in a film that has been described as a “groundbreaking celebration of black culture“. When talking with people about the death of Chadwick Boseman, these are the first things that come up, but without fail the next phrase is “but he was so young”. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Boseman was extremely young, without a doubt there were more hit movies, expert performances, and moments with those closest to him to be had. Like all tragedy and loss, there is a lesson that can be learned from his passing, and that lesson is; Nobody is too young to be at risk for colorectal cancer. 

Granted, most people begin their regular screening routine at around age 45. But that is not a hard and fast rule, and you should begin having regular colorectal cancer screenings earlier if you have any number of particular risk factors. You must discuss your risk factors with your doctor and come up with a personalized plan that takes into consideration all of the risk factors of colorectal cancer. 

Mr. Boseman died at 43 years old and had been battling this cancer for 4 years, which means he was diagnosed around the time he was 39 years old. While this is very uncommon, as we learned this week it is not out of the realm of possibility.