Will Smith is encouraging fans 50 and over to be vigilant about undergoing regular colonoscopies after having a pre-cancerous growth removed during his first procedure.
The “Bad Boys” star, who reached the age milestone last year, recently agreed to undergo the medical check-up on the advice of his physician, Dr. Ala Stanford, and he decided to document the whole experience for his YouTube video blog.
In the footage, titled, “I Vlogged My Colonoscopy”, Will pokes fun at the hospital gown he has to wear for the routine exam, during which a tube with a tiny video camera is inserted into the rectum to view the colon for any abnormalities.
Noting that the gown “opens to the back,” he quipped, “My a** gon’ be out so they can get to it (his rectum) easy (sic).”
After showing him being prepped for the procedure in a Miami, Florida hospital bed, the camera cuts to a groggy Will waking up from the anaesthesia post-exam.
“I haven’t done many drugs in my life so (this) stuff (medication) works on me really well,” he says as he begins to get dressed to go home.
Hours after the hospital stay, Will insists he feels “normal” as he tells viewers, “Gotta get our health right. There’s a certain amount of commitment and embarrassment involved with being healthy. You just gotta do it, man. What’s the (other) option?”
The clip then picks up days later as the actor/rapper discusses the results of the colonoscopy with Dr. Stanford and learns he was at risk of developing cancer.
“There was actually a polyp there… a pre-cancerous lesion,” Dr. Stanford says. “He (the gastroenterologist) removed it and sent it to the lab, and the results came back that it was a tubular adenoma, which is pre-cancer tissue, so 95 per cent of colon cancers arise from that type of polyp that was in your colon.”
Will was subsequently informed he should undergo another colonoscopy “in the next two to three years” instead of the standard 10 to ensure there are no further growths.
“We caught it this time,” the relieved star tells Dr. Stanford. “I thank you so very much for pushing to have this (screening).”
Admitting the news was sobering, he adds, “When I decided I wanted to shoot this as a vlog, it was much more, ‘Hey, this will be cool, this will be fun.’ I didn’t realise there would be a pre-cancerous polyp that would be found out of it, so just thank you…”
Wrapping up the video, Will assures fans he is “good,” concluding, “That was interesting, but health is our greatest wealth…”
Both men and women are advised to undergo a colonoscopy every few years once they turn 50 as part of colorectal cancer prevention.