Actor and singer Will Smith went for his first colonoscopy since turning 50, and it’s a good thing he did.
Doctors found and removed a precancerous polyp during the procedure.
Smith shared the entire process — from prep to polyp — with his fans in a video blog titled “I Vlogged My Colonoscopy.”
The video begins at 6 a.m. as an obviously sleepy Smith announces he’s going in to “get my health right.”
After a few comical minutes of a loopy Smith trying to get someone to help him get dressed, the video takes a serious turn when his personal doctor, Ala Stanford, calls with his results.
Stanford explained that when the doctor who performed the colonoscopy got to Smith’s cecum, or the beginning of the large intestine, he found a precancerous polyp, which was removed.
"Had you not known, it continues to grow and grow and grow,” Stanford told Smith, “and in African American men in particular, the right colon is where cancer is high because it's the biggest part.”
According to Capital Digestive Care, African Americans have a 20% higher chance of being diagnosed with colon cancer and are more likely than other groups to die from it. When screened properly, however, colon cancer is 90% preventable.
"Yours was on a side that would've been more advanced,” Stanford said. “You would've had fewer typical symptoms, and by the time you presented it could've been full-blown and spread throughout your body."
The American Cancer Society recommends a colorectal cancer screening for average-risk adults ages 45 years and older.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.