Will Smith Visits Ellen DeGeneres on Her Talk Show and Talks about Finding Precancerous Polyp during Colonoscopy

Mary Scott
Dec 07, 2019
02:40 A.M.
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Will Smith is opening up about his reaction last month when doctors found a precancerous polyp in his body. The actor shared his experience on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and revealed the shocking twist he never expected.

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Will and his "Bad Boys for Life" co-star, Martin Lawrence, were on Ellen’s show Wednesday to promote the cult classic film, but things turned serious when the host brought up his colonoscopy.

Will Smith at the Premiere Of "Bright" in Westwood, California on Dec. 13, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

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The 51-year-old actor went in for the procedure last month and even documented it in a vlog, giving viewers a first-hand look at how shocked he was to receive the potentially life-threatening news.

"You would’ve had fewer typical symptoms. And by the time you presented, it could be full-blown"

Ellen and Martin commended Will for getting the colonoscopy done and filming it so fans could appreciate the significance, but the "Hancock" star revealed that was the last thing on his mind at the time.

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Will said:

"I thought it was fun, I was gonna vlog it. 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, now we’re gonna do the final piece when the doctor tells me everything.'"

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But the doctor had some disturbing news that Will was not expecting: they found a precancerous polyp. "I was like 'that’s not funny.' And then all of a sudden it turned very real," the actor shared of his reaction.

"It was just a good thing they removed it. It was really great, but it is so important to take those health issues very seriously," he added. "Go and have yourself checked out. They caught it early, and it was done."

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Will and Martin would later discuss their upcoming movie, as E! News noted, but Ellen made sure to chip in that "it really is important everybody. You should get checked."

Will posted a 17-minute long video to his YouTube page early last month, taking fans through the colonoscopy process. Starting with a narration of the procedure prep, the actor’s video later saw him checking into a Miami hospital.

Will Smith poses with a birthday cake to celebrate his 51st birthday at the "Gemini Man" Budapest red carpet in Hungary on Sept. 25, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

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Later on, Will’s physician, Dr. Ala Stanford, tells him that a polyp – a precancerous legion – found during the procedure by the gastroenterologist had been removed and sent to the lab.

A few days later, the doctor presents Will with the results, letting him know that the polyp found was a tubular adenoma, pre-cancer tissues from which 95% of colon cancers arise.

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What Will heard about the health implications of not finding the polyp was even scarier:

"Had you not known, [the polyp] 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."

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"We know that screening and early detection saves lives," the doctor added. "Even early detection of cancer can prolong your life and your livelihood if you catch it early."

No doubt, Will is thankful that he decided to get a colonoscopy when he did, and the fact that it turned out to be life-saving makes it understandable that the actor is encouraging everyone to do the same.

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