The death of Chadwick Boseman, known as the Black Panther to many fans, is shining a spotlight on colon cancer. According to gastroenterologist Dr. Mark Pochapin, cases of colorectal cancer in younger people are on the rise.
Pochapin, who treated Katie Couric’s late husband Jay Monahan who died at the age of 42, said tell-tale signs to look out for are blood in the stool, a change in the size or shape of stool, abdominal pain, or unexplained weight loss.
"We’re seeing more cases in young people and they take longer to diagnose, either because they ignore the symptoms, or the medical community takes longer to diagnose them because they’re not expecting a cancer diagnosis in someone so young," he said.
Timothy Mitchell was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, the same year as Boseman. "I was really deflated,” Mitchell said of Boseman's death. “My wife called me and told me, and she said, ‘He had the exact same thing you had.'”
Mitchell told Inside Edition he related to Boseman’s struggle, feeling “drained” after just a few hours of work, but following surgery and 12 rounds of chemotherapy, Mitchell is now cancer free.
“This is detectable,” he said. “It’s treatable and beatable, so understanding that and getting the proper helping and trying to get in front of it as best you can, you can be a survivor.”