Will Smith, who was recently detected with precancerous polyps during a routine colonoscopy, has termed the entire episode a wake-up call regarding health.
The 51-year-old actor and singer was speaking about the operation with celebrity host Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The actor's precancerous polyp was detected in November during a routine colonoscopy procedure. Smith had made a vlog of the medical procedure by filming and posting the video on YouTube.
Maintaining that the news of the precancerous polyp was a shocker for him, Smith said he was left reeling for days. "I thought it was fun, I was gonna vlog it, you know? So, we do the whole thing and I'm vlogging. And I was like, 'Hey, it's time now we're gonna do – let's do the final piece where the doctor tells me everything. That's when the doctor tells him they removed a polyp.
"I was like... 'that's not funny. All of a sudden it turned very real, you know? It was just a good thing that they removed it and it was really great. It is so important to take those health issues very seriously and go. And I'm telling you, have yourself checked out! They caught it early. It was done," added the star.
Smith finally underwent the colonoscopy after being repeatedly told by his Miami based- physician Dr. Ala Stanford.
In the beginning of the video Smith while joking about the procedure is heard saying. "I'm 50, so people need to look up my stuff."
A few days later, while informing Smith about the detection and removal of polyps, Stanford said: "Had you not known, it continues to grow and grow and grow. 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."
What are polyps?
Polyps are small lumps along the intestine wall. Indicators of colon cancer, polyps can be screened during the colonoscopy procedure. If detected in time, patients can be cured before it becomes symptomatic or cancerous.
In a 2016 study published about colorectal cancer in African Americans it was reported that African Americans are more likely to develop malignant colon tumors on their right side. The disease is mostly diagnosed younger and at a later stage of the patient. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends adults begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 50.