Ernie Hudson recalls near-death experience while dealing with rectal cancer

Hudson was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2011 — more than a decade after undergoing successful treatment for prostate cancer.

Ernie Hudson is lucky to be alive.

According to People, the “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” star went through a “nightmare” years ago when he “almost died” due to problems resulting from cancer treatment.

In 2011, Hudson — who had undergone successful treatment for prostate cancer in 1998 — found he had rectal cancer.

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Ernie Hudson, shown at a March 21 London event for Columbia Pictures’ “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” says he nearly died while being treated for cancer in 2011. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Columbia Pictures)

The married father of four recalled being in “pretty good shape” at the time, but he wanted confirmation as he prepared to play boxer Jack Johnson in a play he wrote — a precaution that may have saved his life.

“I went in to get a series of checkups that it really wasn’t time for, but it was a very physical play,” Hudson shared. “And then they found in a colonoscopy, they found this little thing on my rectal area, and then they checked, and it was malignant cancer.”

Hudson scheduled surgery to remove the cancer and learned from his doctor that he would possibly need an ileostomy bag, which is used to collect feces “when your colon or rectum can’t be used to eliminate digestive waste,” People reported.

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Despite being in much pain, Hudson continued working while wearing the bag, which his doctor said he’d need for six weeks.

“Well, we should have waited three months,” he said. “He took it off too soon.”

Hudson, 78, recalled waking up one morning with his stomach feeling like a rock. His wife, Linda Kingsberg, urged him to visit the hospital — where he learned poison was running into his system.

“If it had been just a couple hours more of me getting there, I probably would’ve died,” Hudson recalled the doctor telling him.

The actor — who firmly believes in routine checks and early detection — needed an additional procedure and had to wear the ileostomy bag again.

“Then finally it was healed,” Hudson said, People reported.