Gen X, it’s time to have a serious conversation about your health.

Generation X, I think we need to have an important conversation.

Now, I may approach you as a Millennial, but I’m older. I’m more like your little brother than the obnoxious cousin you used to babysit at family gatherings while all the Adults in Capital G were drunk and playing Spades.

Basically, don’t look at me like Boomers do. Take me seriously right now, because I come to you from a place of love.

Last month, Chadwick Boseman passed away. According to his family, he had developed stage 4 colon cancer years ago and was receiving treatment for his condition on and off while filming the epic roles we all know and love him for.42the story of Jackie Robinson; Get up, his interpretation of James Brown; and Black Panther, which really needs no description at this point. His penchant for playing legendary characters and bringing our stories to life has left an indelible mark on our country, the world, and most importantly, the culture.

Colorectal cancer, better known as colon cancer, is not at all rare. Is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, second only to lung cancer. Colon cancer basically occurs when cells in the lining of the colon and large intestine grow out of control and form cancerous tumors that can cause pain and blockages in the colon. However, because very few people get regular tests for colon cancer and cancer cells, by the time cancer is detected, it has already traveled and infected other parts of the body; At that time, the only real treatment with reliable results is chemotherapy. .

Colon cancer is a condition that doctors usually start testing you for once you are over 50, because that is when research shows you are most likely to start developing cancer cells. And advances in medical science have made deaths attributed to all Cancers have decreased over time.

I know I’m talking a lot about colorectal cancer, but this isn’t about that at all.

Chadwick died at the age of 43. Forty-three. While it should be noted that we do not know the details of his diagnosis or when he received it, we can safely point out a few things: 1, his family recognized that he had arrived stage 4 after being diagnosed in 2016before the start of filming Panther; 2, because he was diagnosed long before he turned 43, he had to have been tested long before he had entered the age range in which his doctor would even broach the subject.

What makes this so important is that for you, dear member of Generation each condition.

Research shows that diseases largely associated with approaching retirement age are being detected much earlier than we would normally expect. Conditions normally found in people in their 50s and 60s are being discovered in increasingly younger people.

That includes me and my cohort of older Millennials but, more specifically, it includes you.

We are finding people in their 40s who require the types of heart and diabetes medications that are typically prescribed to people in their 50s and 60s. For Black Gen X’ers, doubly so:Colon cancer is found in increasingly younger patients, especially when they are black.and because we know that health care is not as available to black Americans as it is to white Americans for numerous reasons, the The mortality rate is higher for us.. Conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart diseaseand high cholesterol They are affecting younger people and need more aggressive prescription treatment at younger ages. It is one thing to detect a problem that can be addressed early with a behavioral intervention; It’s another thing to be on the verge of requiring medication. It’s the difference between “it’s time to quit smoking” and “now you need chemotherapy.”

Be clear: These are not “you’re getting old” jokes, or even jokes. It’s not about your age, but rather a discrepancy in medical care that isn’t reaching the doctors most likely to treat you. It’s bad for Generation It is also worse for millennials. However, since we know that Boomers generally don’t care about anyone but themselves, it’s entirely possible that the Gen Xers we grew up with watching Video Soul and TRL, who rushed to record our favorite song on a cassette tape with us, and those who were as shocked as we were when Aaliyah died could never receive the answer they We Millennials still have time to receive.

Generation has to They will be encouraged and empowered to seek the types of proactive care that can help them stay healthy. Us all We need to be prepared to have these conversations with our doctors.when we do finally go see them—long before our doctors are ready to have those conversations with us.

Proactive counseling and treatment can prevent the need to rely on prescription medications in the future. Many of these chronic conditions (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) cause more damage to the body if they persist for long periods, making early diagnosis, treatment, and course correction essential.

The Boomers won’t tell you, but we will. You are all our older brothers, our favorite cousins, and some of our best friends. Go to the doctor. Get checkups, yes, even uncomfortable some.

And, since we need to be there with you, we can even go together.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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