NEW YORK–Comedian Charlie Murphy died Wednesday of leukemia, the seventh-leading cause of cancer deaths among black men, according to the American Cancer Society.
In 2016, leukemia, a group of cancers that usually begin in the bone marrow and result in high numbers of abnormal white blood cells, represented 3% or 1,110 cancers deaths among black men behind lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectal cancer, liver cancer, cancer of the pancreas, and stomach cancer, the American Cancer Society reported.
The exact cause of leukemia is unknown, and treatment may involve some combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and bone marrow transplants.
A study by the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas reported that African Americans are more likely to die from leukemia compared with other ethnic groups but the reasons for the discrepancy aren’t clear.
A multi-year study of the more than 1,600 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most-common form of leukemia, reported that 21 percent of blacks died from the disease compared with 9 percent of non-blacks although members of both groups went into remission at the same rate before the cancer returned.
Charlie Murphy, who was 57, was the older brother of his more famous sibling Eddie Murphy, died in a New York City hospital.
He co-wrote some of his little brother’s movies, including “Norbit” and “Vampire in Brooklyn.” He co-starred in “Are We There Yet?” “The Boondocks” and “Black Jesus.”
Charlie Murphy was born July 12, 1959, in Brooklyn, N.Y.