The tragic passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has shaken the world. While many of us didn’t see it coming, the star had reportedly been battling colon cancer for 4 years and finally succumbed to the illness last week

While many fans mourn the loss of this talented actor, we are reminded that the current COVID-19 pandemic is not the only health risk we face.

Related: 10 Things you need to know about Chadwick Boseman: His incredible life & legacy

You could be healthy and still have cancer

Chadwick Boseman was reportedly diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016. The star went on to set screens ablaze with his groundbreaking performance as T’Chatalla on the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther.

Although in the last images taken of Chadwick, his fight with cancer had visibly taken its toll, he did not appear sickly when he was first diagnosed.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Young men can die of cancer too

While regular cancer checks are encouraged for women across all ages, men are encouraged to have screenings from the age of 45. Although this is practical, it doesn’t mean men should ignore signs of ill health.

According to healthline.com men are more likely to ignore symptoms of sickness putting them at higher risk of late diagnosis and cancer death since cancer is easier to treat when discovered in the early stages.

Chadwick Boseman was only 39 when he was diagnosed and died at the age of 43.

Related: Mawisa “The Survivor” talks about beating cancer at the age of 30 & inspiring others

Cancer is not just a ‘white people’ thing

While the belief that cancer affects only white people is still prevalent, there have been many cancer survivors who have challenged this belief, including the late broadcasting legend Xolani Gwala who also died of colon cancer last year, he was 44.

According to Emily Mendenhall, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor at Georgetown University, people in affluent countries have been diagnosed with cancer more commonly than people in poorer countries, however they are more likely to recover from cancer than their counterparts in poorer countries who are more likely to die because of late detection and late interventions.

Cancer is more than just a lump

When most people think of cancer, we think of a lump or bump that wasn’t there before and just keeps growing.

The symptoms of colon or rectal cancer are similar to digestive issues in the initial stages, which may be tempting to ignore, however medical advice is necessary when even everyday aches and pains persist.

Sources: The conversation

               Healthline.com

               Science daily

Related: THIS is what women need to fight cancer – Oncologist shares her best advice

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.