WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Will Smith had just undergone a routine colonoscopy procedure when his doctor informed him that a pre-cancerous polyp was removed from his colon.
- Stanford told Smith that the cancer would have grown and spread undetected had he postponed the procedure.
- Smith’s experience is a reminder for everyone that “screening and early detection saves lives.”
Will Smith has an important health lesson to share with us: Do not postpone your colonoscopy appointment.
The procedure is usually not a pleasant experience, but it’s extremely important. And the actor’s recent experience is a testament on just how important it is.
You can watch Will Smith’s full experience in the video below:
The actor’s doctor, Dr. Ala Stanford, had advised him to schedule one when he turned 50 last year. So Smith agreed and even documented his full experience on video, where he seemed to be in high spirits.
But days after the procedure, his doctor called to inform him that a pre-cancerous polyp was removed from his colon. According to the lab tests, the polyp was a tubular adenoma.
Stanford told him, “95 percent of colon cancers arise from that type of polyp that was in your colon. Had you not known, it continues to grow and grow and grow.”
She explained, “In African-American men in particular, the right colon is where cancer is high because it’s the biggest part.”
She continued, “Yours was on a side that would’ve been more advanced, you would’ve had fewer typical symptoms and by the time you presented it could’ve been full-blown and spread throughout your body.”
Smith looked a bit shaken by the news. He then asked, “So what does that mean, in terms of..”
“Your life?” Stanford filled in.
“What that means is, thank you for being a compliant patient and listening when I said, ‘Will, you need to get a colonoscopy.’ We know that screening and early detection saves lives,” she said.
Stanford shared her observation that most people tend to avoid the procedure. People think “nothing’s wrong” so they assume they don’t need it, but “then they miss things” that would’ve been detected by the procedure.
The doctor added that Smith himself has a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and physical activity — which just goes to show that even “healthy” people still need to get screened. She said that Smith will need another colonoscopy in the next two to three years.
The actor seemed a bit overwhelmed after the video call. After some reflection, he shared the well-known but also well-neglected lesson that he gleaned from his conversation with his doctor: “Health is wealth.”