Child Star Mourns Brother’s Passing From Colon Cancer

( – Actress Raven-Symoné celebrated her 38th birthday on December 10, but it was likely not the same without her younger brother by her side. The “That’s So Raven” star shared the tragic news on Instagram while thanking her followers for the warm wishes on her birthday.

She wrote candidly, stating, “It was bittersweet for me to be honest because last month I lost my brother, Blaize.” She wrote that he was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago and that “he is in a better place now.” Blaize Pearman’s birthday is on December 16, so they likely celebrated together most years.

Pearman attended many red-carpet events with Raven-Symoné, although he mostly led a private life. Her followers and friends quickly commented with their condolences. Sabrina Ryan, who co-starred alongside Raven-Symoné in “Cheetah Girls,” wrote that she was “an awesome big sister who loved and adored her baby brother.” She also wrote that she would be praying for her family as they navigate through their loss. Another “Cheetah Girls” star, Kiely Williams, also offered condolences and prayers for Raven-Symoné and her family.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that people undergo colon cancer screenings starting at age 45. However, just this year, ACS released a report that showed an increase in colon cancer in younger people. Roughly 3,750 people under the age of 50 die from colon cancer every year, with 20,000 diagnosed with the disease. Researchers have suggested that diet may play a role, as colon cancer diagnoses in younger people have increased by nearly 50 percent.

Some people who get diagnosed with colon cancer do not experience symptoms, but others report blood in their stool unexplained weight loss, feeling or appearing bloated, or overall fatigue. While a colonoscopy is the most common method of screening for people over 45, other methods have gained popularity in recent years. Fecal-immunochemical tests can be done at home on an annual basis and sent in for evaluation. DNA stool tests are also available, such as Cologuard. This test will detect changes in the DNA that occur when a cancerous polyp is present.

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