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Chadwick Boseman's death brings awareness to colon cancer

Alabama rates are higher than the national rate in colon cancer, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The world was stunned to find out that actor Chadwick Boseman, 43, known for his role in 'Black Panther', died after a four-year battle with colon cancer. 

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the state's rate for colon cancer is higher than the national rate based on a study released in 2019.

The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colorectal or colon cancer, start regular screening at age 45.

Screening can often find colon cancer early. When it's small and hasn't spread, it can be easier to treat. 

Regular screening can even prevent colon cancer. Signs to look for include a change in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding with bright red blood is also a sign to look out for.

The Alabama Department of Public Health 2018-2019 study reveals an estimated 2,300 new colon cancer cases were expected last year.

Among men in Alabama, Black men have a significantly higher rate than White men, with nearly 59 versus 49 cases per 100,000 people.

There are also different types of tests: stool based tests and visual exams of the colon and rectum. A colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years.

People who are in good health and with a life expectancy of more than 10 years should continue regular colorectal cancer screening through the age of 75.

It's recommended that you should get screened for colon cancer no matter what test you take.

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