Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney Get Polyps Removed, Highlight Colon Cancer Screenings

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Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney Get Polyps Removed, Highlight Colon Cancer Screenings
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Ryan Reynolds is raising awareness about colon cancer screenings by sharing details about his own experience with the procedure.

The ‘Deadpool’ star, who is also co-chairman of Welsh football club, Wrexham Association Football Club, shared a video on Tuesday from colon cancer awareness organization Lead from Behind in association with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance which documented her colonoscopy procedure to educate others about reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.

The video, which featured ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ actor Rob McElhenney, who is also co-chairman of Wrexham AFC, opens with the two explaining that Reynolds bet McElhenney he wouldn’t learn to speak Welsh. And if he did, Reynolds would film his colonoscopy.

“Rob and I both turned 45 this year and you know, part of that age is having a colonoscopy,” Reynolds said in the video. “It’s a simple step that could literally, and I mean literally, save your life.”

Wrexham co-chairmen Rob McElhenney, left, and Ryan Reynolds during a press conference at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, Wales on Thursday 28th October 2021.

Peter Byrne/PA via AP

Dr. Jonathan LaPook of NYU Langone Health led Reynolds’ procedure and told the actor he found an “extremely subtle polyp” on the right side of his colon.

“It potentially saved your life,” LaPook told Reynolds. “That’s exactly why you’re doing this.”

The American Cancer Society has said there is “no sure way to prevent colorectal cancer,” but there are things people can do to help lower their risk. At the top of the list is colorectal cancer screening, as does Reynolds.

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During the process, doctors will check for cancer or pre-cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. It is one of the “most powerful tools to prevent colorectal cancer”, according to the organization.

“You’re interrupting the natural history of a disease or a process that could have ended up turning into cancer and causing all kinds of problems,” LaPook said. “Instead, you’re not only diagnosing the polyp, you’re removing it. No one would know they had this, but it [Reynolds] reached screening age, 45, he had a routine screening, and that’s it. And that’s why people have to do it.”

“It saves lives, plain and simple,” LaPook added.

According to the American Cancer Society, “From the time the first abnormal cells begin to turn into polyps, it usually takes them about 10 to 15 years to turn into colorectal cancer.”

With regular screening, polyps can be found and removed before they turn into cancer, the American Cancer Society said.

According to the American Cancer Society, other ways to potentially reduce the risk of colorectal cancer include managing diet and physical activity, quitting smoking, and taking daily multivitamins.

McElhenney also introduced cameras into her procedure where doctors found three small polyps, which they said weren’t a big deal and were able to remove them.

“It’s not every day that you can raise awareness about something that will most definitely save lives,” Reynolds said.

Copyright © 2022 ABC News Internet Ventures.

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