Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney film their colonoscopy experiences

Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney film their colonoscopy experiences

Ryan Reynolds shares intimate health journey

Ryan Reynolds documents his first colonoscopy to raise awareness about cancer screening

06: 41

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are bringing a new meaning to the term “lead from behind.” They are raising awareness for colon cancer by filming their colonoscopy experiences.

Reynolds’ colonoscopy was performed by CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook.

Reynolds personally came to LaPook, who was his doctor before, to ask him to perform the colonoscopy after the actor turned 45 years old–which is the new recommended age to begin screening for people of average risk.

LaPook told “CBS Mornings” on Tuesday that the recommended age of screening recently dropped down from 50 years after doctors began to see colon cancer in younger people.

“He wanted to raise awareness and said let’s do this PSA,” LaPook said.

— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) September 13, 2022

It was the first time that Reynolds ever had a colonoscopy, and in the PSA, Reynolds said he was willing to be open about his medical procedure to help “save lives.”

“I would never normally have any medical procedure put on camera. Reynolds stated in the PSA that it’s not often you can raise awareness about something that will most certainly save lives. “That’s enough for me to let in.”

After the procedure, LaPook informed Reynolds that he found an “extremely subtle polyp” on the right side of Reynold’s colon. A colon polyp is a small cluster of cells that can turn over time into cancer.

“This was potentially lifesaving for you. I’m not being dramatic. This is precisely why you do it. You had no symptoms,” LaPook told Reynolds. “You are interfering with the natural history of a disease that could have developed into cancer and caused all kinds of problems,” LaPook said to Reynolds. Instead of diagnosing the polyp, instead you are removing it.

LaPook was able to cut out the polyp during the colonoscopy. McElhenney’s colonoscopy revealed three small polyps, which were also removed.

LaPook said that it is important that both men and women get a colonoscopy to prevent them from getting colon cancer.

“We have to raise awareness,” said LaPook.

To learn more information about getting a colonoscopy, visit LeadFromBehind.org.

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