Will Smith wants to raise awareness for colonoscopies, after doctors found a polyp in his colon during a routine check.
The 51-year-old actor posted a 17-minute long video to his YouTube channel, in which he went through the process of having his first ever colonoscopy, and discovered he has been living with a polyp, which is a precancerous legion.
In the video, Will explained that he though the idea of filming his colonoscopy would make for a funny video, but the trip turned out to be crucial for his health, as doctors were able to remove the polyp before it had the chance to progress into cancer.
His physician, Doctor Ala Stanford, told him in the video: “The results came back that it was a tubular adenoma which is pre-cancer tissues. Ninety-five percent of colon cancers arise from that type of polyp that was in your colon.
“We know that screening and early detection saves lives. Even early detection of cancer can prolong your life and your livelihood if you catch it early.
“Had you not known, [the polyp] continues to grow and grow and grow. And African American men, in particular, the right colon is where cancer is high … You would’ve had fewer typical symptoms. And by the time you presented, it could be full-blown and spread throughout your body.”
Since finding the polyp, doctors have told the ‘Aladdin’ star he will need to have a colonoscopy more frequently than others.
His doctor added: “Instead of getting a screening every 10 years, you need to get yours done in the next two to three years.”
And whilst the results were scary for Will to hear, he’s thankful he can now help raise awareness for the important check, as it could help to save lives.
In his video, he said: “You know, 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 that there would be a precancerous polyp that would get found out of it.”