BEREA, Ohio (WJW) – Actress Kirstie Alley’s death is shedding light on colon cancer and
the importance of early detection.

The news of Alley’s death hit home for 62-year-old Cindi Terwoord, of Berea.

“I couldn’t believe it because, unfortunately, colon cancer is becoming more prevalent,” said Terwoord.

Terwoord was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer back in 2019.

“It had metalized to my liver,” said Terwoord.

Cindi immediately began a clinical trial of immunotherapy treatment along with chemotherapy for several months. Then, she underwent surgery to remove the tumor in her abdomen.

“The doctor came back and he said, ‘we couldn’t find any more cancer,'” said Terwoord.

“Unfortunately, this is a diagnosis we are seeing more often in young people,” said Dr. Suneel Kamath, an oncologist with the Cleveland Clinic.

According to Kamath, colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer.

Kamath says one of the early signs of the disease is bloody stool or even black stool.

“Blood when it gets changed in your bowels can turn your stool black. Another common finding is some people describe they have really bad constipation,” said Kamath.

Kamath adds that regular screenings are the best way to keep colon cancer at bay.

“The new recommendation is to start at 45. I know a lot of people have that 50 number in their mind,” said Kamath.

Meanwhile, Cindi said her health is back and the cancer has not returned.