Skip to main content

Did this save Will Smith from Colon Cancer?

Getting your first colonoscopy may not hold a top spot on your bucket list. But as movie star Will Smith recently discovered while recording a lighthearted vlog chronicling his first colon cancer screening, it probably should.

 “There’s a certain level of commitment and embarrassment to getting healthy. You ‘gotta do it, man,” Smith said, adding “What’s the option?”

For Smith, the option could have become life-threatening. His first colonoscopy discovered a tubular adenoma – a precancerous polyp, which if left untreated, could have grown larger, become malignant and eventually spread to other areas of his body. Smith did not experience the typical signs of colon troubles. Therefore his condition could have progressed unnoticed.

“Timely colonoscopy screenings save lives. They can prevent colorectal cancer or detect cancer early enough to make a difference in the aggressiveness of cancer treatment options needed, as well as outcomes,” says Dr. Peter Oshin, a gastroenterologist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago.

Anyone 45 years and older should get screened for colorectal cancer – either by colonoscopy in your doctor’s office or with an at-home test. If you have gastrointestinal issues or a strong family history of colorectal polyps, Dr. Oshin recommends starting colorectal cancer screenings at age 40 or earlier.

“I get it. No one wants to think about the process of having photographs taken of your colon, but as you can tell from Mr. Smith’s vlog, the colonoscopy takes place under anesthesia and is relatively painless” Dr. Oshin says, adding that he has shared Smith’s vlog from his social accounts to help spread the movie star’s powerful, real-life message.

“Not only am I rooting for Mr. Smith’s vlog to reach every man and women 45 years and older, I am hoping his good intentions and celebrity will help erase fears and move those who are at-risk to get screened for colon cancer,” Dr. Oshin says.

Fortunately, Smith’s precancerous polyp was removed during the colonoscopy. Now he is at higher risk for colorectal cancer and will need to get surveyed in a couple of years with a second colonoscopy, according to his physician’s instructions. 

 “When I decided I wanted to shoot this as a vlog, it was more of a ‘This would be cool. This would be fun.’ I didn’t realize there would be a precancerous polyp that would get found out of it,” Smith explained.

Dr. Oshin recommends speaking with your internal medicine doctor about risk factors and timing for your first colonoscopy.

Posted in Health

Connect with us

Stay up to date with the the latest news and events related to the portal.

Share your story

What's going on in Englewood? Share your story and become an author on the portal.

Powered by Teamwork Englewood

Uniting organizations serving Englewood residents and working toward the common goal of building a stronger community.

More about Teamwork Englewood »