Take a lesson from Will Smith: Stop rescheduling your colonoscopy.
The experience is rarely pleasant — but it's extremely important to do, as evidenced by the results of Smith's recent procedure. His doctor, Dr. Ala Stanford, advised that he put one on the calendar after turning 50 last year, and Smith not only agreed but also documented the whole thing on video.
"How'd you do? You did alright?" a nurse asks as Smith wakes up from the anesthesia, to which Smith jokingly responds, "The question is, did you guys do alright?"
They certainly did: Days after the procedure, he received a call from Stanford informing him that a pre-cancerous polyp had been removed from his colon. Lab testing found that the polyp was a tubular adenoma. "95 percent of colon cancers arise from that type of polyp that was in your colon," she said.
"Had you not known, it continues to grow and grow and grow and in African-American men in particular, the right colon is where cancer is high because it's the biggest part," Stanford explained. "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."
Looking a little bit shaken, Smith asked, "So what does that mean, in terms of.."
"Your life?" Stanford supplied. "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 noted that many people are resistant to the procedure: "'Oh, nothing's wrong with me, I feel great, I look great, I don't need to have this stuff done.' And then they miss things."
Smith was told he would need another colonoscopy in the next two to three years. His doctor noted that he has a healthy lifestyle of eating well and exercising, citing that as further evidence why people need to get screened as these types of developments are outside of human control.
After ending the video chat with his doctor, he reflected a bit, still seeming a little bit overwhelmed by the revelation: "Health is wealth," he said. "I'm gonna go sit with that for a minute."
You can watch the full experience in Smith's video below.