In a year defined by grief, dancer Kevin Boseman, one of late actor Chadwick Boseman’s older brothers, took a moment to celebrate an important milestone: two years without cancer.
In an Instagram story first published on Oct. 14, and later shared by The Shade Room, Kevin noted that the day marked his two-year remission anniversary.
“I was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and underwent four rounds of chemotherapy. I’m in remission!!!!! You read right. I am in remission,” said the 48-year-old NYC-based dancer and choreographer.
“Something to smile about. Something to shout about,” he added. “I hope you’re smiling and shouting with me. Cancer is something most of us have no control over. We can only control our responses to it, which includes being proactive about our healthcare both physically and mental.”
Kevin’s diagnosis came two years after Chadwick Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. Chadwick’s cancer was already in stage III at the time of his diagnosis, and the prolific actor quietly underwent four years of treatments while continuing to work on films like Marshall, the Avengers movies, Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, set to be released later this year.
He died two months ago at the age of 43.
His death shocked fans worldwide, as well as colleagues, who said they had no idea what the actor was going through over the last four years. It also highlighted the pervasiveness of colorectal cancer, particularly among young Black men.
According to the American Cancer Society, Black people have the highest rates of colon cancer out of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. And while overall numbers for colon cancer are on the decline, men under 50 are actually contracting it at higher rates.
Not only are Black people 20 percent more likely to develop colorectal cancer, but they die at higher rates from it: Health magazine reports that colon cancer death rates are 40 percent higher than that of white people.
There are no concrete answers for why Black people may develop colorectal cancer at higher rates, though doctors and researchers say that systemic racism, in the form of less access to healthcare and less screening, is likely a factor.
Kevin didn’t mention the kind of cancer he has but promoted early detection in his Instagram stories.
“Tomorrow is not promised and early detection saves lives,” he said. “Health is wealth. True wealth.”