Will Smith Gets Candid About Finding Precancerous Polyp While Recording Colonoscopy
"It is so important to take those health issues very serious, and go, and have yourself checked out," Will Smith said
Will Smith got an unexpected dose of reality while recording his colonoscopy for fans earlier this year.
The Bad Boys for Life actor appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres show Wednesday and was applauded by the TV host and his costar Martin Lawrence for filming his colonoscopy and sharing it with the world last month.
“It was a great thing that you did because I think everyone needs to know that’s important,” said Lawrence, 54.
Smith explained that he was initially just trying to have fun with the procedure by filming it.
“I thought it would be fun, I was gonna vlog it,” he said. “I was like ‘I’m gonna vlog my colonoscopy.’ So we do the whole thing, we vlog it, and I was like ‘It’s time, we’re gonna do the final piece when the doctor tells me everything.’ ”
However, the actor received unexpected news from his physician, Dr. Ala Stanford.
“And she was like ‘Oh yea, they found a precancerous polyp,’ ” Smith explained. “I was like ‘that’s not funny.’ And then all of a sudden it turned very real. It was just a good thing, they removed it. It was really great. But it is so important to take those health issues very serious, and go, and have yourself checked out. They caught it early, it was done.”
DeGeneres, 61, mentioned that patients typically don’t remember getting the procedure done, which Smith reiterated.
“You definitely don’t remember it,” he said in Wednesday’s episode.
“The day before the procedure is the worst day,” said DeGeneres. “That’s the worst part.”
Smith’s footage from the procedure was turned into a 17 minute-long YouTube video in early November.
The video started off with a narration of his colonoscopy prep and eventually followed Smith into a Miami hospital for his procedure.
Later in the clip, however, Smith’s physician informed 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 presented him with the results a few days later. “Ninety-five percent of colon cancers arise from that type of polyp that was in your colon.”
Before responding, Stanford thanked Smith for being compliant and going through the important, routine procedure.
“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,” Stanford said.
“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.”
Smith thanked Stanford for her help and admitted that 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.