Will Smith is opening up to the world about his first colonoscopy experience.
The 51-year-old actor decided it was time to go through with the procedure after his physician, Dr. Ala Stanford, said it was necessary for someone his age.
“I’m 50, so people need to look up my stuff,” he shared with his viewers.
In true Hollywood fashion, Smith decided to document the procedure and take his viewers with him through the colonoscopy process, eventually turning the footage into a 17-minute long YouTube video with over a million views.
What Smith thought would be a funny idea — using the video to crack bathroom jokes and be silly — actually turned out to be crucial for his health.
The video starts off in a Charlie Chaplin-esque narration of his colonoscopy prep and eventually follows Smith into a Miami hospital for his procedure.
Later in the clip, however, Smith’s physician informs him that the gastroenterologist found a polyp — a precancerous legion — during the procedure, which was removed and sent to the lab.
“The results came back that it was a tubular adenoma which is pre-cancer tissues,” Stanford told Smith when she with the results a few days later. “Ninety-five percent of colon cancers arise from that type of polyp that was in your colon.”
Smith was quick to ask what the finding the polyp meant for his future health.
Before responding, Stanford thanked Smith for being compliant and going through the procedure to get to this point.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Stanford then shared that Smith will have to be screened more often than those who have normal colonoscopy results.
“Instead of getting a screening every 10 years, you need to get yours done in the next two to three years,” she explained.
Smith thanked Stanford for her help and admitting that he he never expected the test results.
“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 realize that there would be a precancerous polyp that would get found out of it,” he shared.
More and more celebrities recently have been going public with their medical exams to help create awareness.
In October, Jennifer Garner gave followers a peek into her annual mammogram appointment in a video shared to her social channels, hoping to encourage others to schedule their own checkups.
“Happy October! It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s time for a mammogram,” Garner said in her video. She kept things lighthearted throughout the procedure, doodling on anatomical diagrams and making silly faces. While waiting for her results, the star played with her feet and blew up a latex glove like a balloon.
Finally, her doctor came in and said, “Okay, your mammogram looks perfect,” and they both gave a thumbs-up to the camera.
Alongside the video, Garner wrote a message of support to women currently battling breast cancer and encouraging others to get checked for early detection.
“Every October I have a standing date 🙂. For a mammogram 😬. For me, having the appointment on the books makes it routine, like the dentist,” she wrote. “I know it’s scary, sisters, but just do it—the next best thing to an all clear is early detection. 💗 To everyone in the thick of the battle—respect and love and strength to you. 💗”
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