Kirstie Alley’s Cause Of Death Explained

Kirstie Alley, best known for her Emmy award-winning role as Rebecca Howe on “Cheers,” died Monday night of colon cancer (via People). She was 71.

Her children, True and Lillie Parker, said in a statement on Twitter that her cancer diagnosis was “recently discovered” and that her closest family members were with her. She was receiving treatment at the Moffitt Cancer Center.

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According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer might not have symptoms at first, and one could be symptom-free before finding out the cancer has spread.

For those with a genetic predisposition, like Lynch Syndrome, it can spread faster and occur at younger ages (per Fight Colorectal Cancer). Doctors recommend regular colon cancer screenings at age of 45 for anyone with an average risk and even younger for those with a genetic risk factor.

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National Cancer Registry Ireland Annual statistical report 2022

One notable milestone we report this year is that, by the end of 2020, for the first time, the number of people living after an invasive cancer diagnosis had exceeded the 200,000 mark to reach 207,000. This is equivalent to 4.2% of the population, or about 1 in 24 persons in Ireland, a >50% increase in numbers of cancer survivors compared with one decade ago. This reflects both an increase in the number of people being diagnosed with cancer every year and ongoing improvements in cancer survival, as also reported here.

I have a VUS (Variant of Uncertain Significance) Now what?

When you agree to genetic testing, you expect a yes or no answer:  yes, you have an abnormal change in a gene that increases your cancer risk, or no, you don’t. But sometimes, you might not get a clear “yes” or “no.” You might just get a “maybe.”

Are genetic variants of uncertain significance common?

Almost 20% of genetic tests identify a VUS. These tests come in different “sizes.” Some examine only a handful of genes associated with cancer at a time, while others analyze up to 80 genes. The more genes you look at, the more variants of uncertain significance you’ll find.

Lynch Syndrome- St Marks

Patient Information – 2019

  1. What is the chance of developing cancer if a faulty gene is found? Not everyone who carries a Lynch syndrome pathogenic variant will develop cancer. The risk of developing cancer is considerably lower in those who know they have Lynch Syndrome compared to those who have it but are unaware of the diagnosis.

Right to be Forgotten…

A new Bill was recently brought before the Seanad will aim to ensure cancer survivors are not denied access to financial products like mortgage protection and insurance due to their medical history.

The Bill, which will seek to revise current legislation, outlines that a person seeking access to financial services will no longer have to declare a cancer diagnosis five years after finishing active treatment. The move is supported by the Irish Cancer Society.



Genomics be used in health care in a targeted way for the purpose of diagnosing and treating disease. It should not be used for aesthetic purposes.

Strong protections, and appropriate, adequate supports are put in place to assist individuals, especially individuals from vulnerable groups, in making informed decisions around genomic testing options during their journey towards a diagnosis.

Individuals are given the option either during or following the genomic testing consent process to share their genomic data for the purpose of supporting health research. The research should contribute towards better health outcomes for individuals or for society, and this contribution should be clearly detailed and explained during the consent process.

Members of the public who consent to share their genomic data to health research should not receive any financial reward or preferential treatment from the health system or from third parties, for example, medical cards or discounted premiums.

See full report here:

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