Colonoscopy Might've Saved Ryan Reynolds

Actor learned 'extremely subtle polyp' in colon may have developed into cancer
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2022 12:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ryan Reynolds lost a bet and as a result had to publicly broadcast his first colonoscopy. "But it still paid off," according to the actor. Indeed. The procedure, in which a camera is inserted into the rectum to look for colon polyps, was potentially life-saving. In a video for Lead From Behind, a new organization raising awareness about colon cancer, a doctor tells Reynolds that an "extremely subtle polyp" had to be removed from the right side of Reynolds' colon. "This was potentially life-saving for you. I'm not kidding, I'm not being overly dramatic," the doctor says. "This is exactly why you do this. You had no symptoms." He adds the polyp "could have ended up developing into cancer."

"I've been on camera a lot. But this was the first time one was shoved up my a--," Reynolds says in a statement. "The procedure and prep were painless," he adds, noting "the discomfort of filming and sharing the process was the hardest part." Though Reynolds' friend and fellow actor Rob McElhenney won the bet (it was based on whether or not he could learn to speak Welsh; the pair are co-owners of Welsh football team Wrexham AFC, per E!), McElhenney also agreed to broadcast his first colonoscopy. "I figure I can't go wrong in terms of comparing myself to Ryan," joked the star of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

"They either find nothing and that means my colon was cleaner than his, or they find a polyp and it's either bigger than his, which is awesome, or it's smaller than his, which means I had less of an opportunity to have cancer—either way, I win," McElhenney says in the video, per People. He did win. A doctor is shown telling McElhenney that he had three small polyps removed that "were not a big deal." Lead From Behind, founded by tech entrepreneur and colon cancer survivor Brooks Bell, notes one in three people will "have a polyp in their gut by their 45th birthday," per People. Both actors turned 45 this year. (Read more Ryan Reynolds stories.)

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