A charismatic Hollywood personality recently chronicled his colorectal screening procedure. The Deadpool star, Ryan Reynolds used his star power to film his first Colonoscopy to create awareness about the 'preventive cancer screening procedure'. After losing a bet to fellow actor, the Free Guy star decided to remove his cape and be real again, a man of his word!
Colon cancer is one of the many leading causes of death among men. The actor teamed up with Lead From Behind, a colon cancer awareness organisation. He decided to put his status to use to highlight the importance of cancer screening procedures that will, 'save lives every day'
Colonoscopy is an imaging test of the colon for detection of abnormalities and examination of bowels using a colonoscope. A thin tube with light and camera attached to it. Colonoscopy is performed to examine bowels, detect inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), abnormalities or polyps, and particularly used as a screening test for colorectal cancers. Doctors give instructions to patients for bowel preparation prior to the procedure. Patient takes clear, liquid diet 24-72 hours before procedure and avoid red or purple dye food to avoid colon discoloration.
The procedure is performed under anesthesia, and takes 15 minutes to an hour. Patient is made to lie on side with knees close to the chest. The colonoscope is positioned and guided gently into anus through rectum. Once inside, the CO2 gas is used to inflate colon for better view. The camera attached to colonoscope's end then transmits images to a monitor for doctor's visualization.
The actor described procedure as painless and shared his thoughts after the same.
The colonoscopy revealed "extremely subtle polyp" on the right side of his colon. This broadcast threw light on how this medical procedure have prevented cancer from developing. In an effort to create awareness he shared his experience on his Instagram page,
“Part of being this age is getting a colonoscopy. It’s a simple step that could literally — and I mean literally — save your life, Reynolds said in a video.
“It’s not every day that you can raise awareness about something that will most definitely save lives. That’s enough motivation for me to let you in on a camera....," Reynolds said in a voice over.
After the procedure Dr. Lapook let Reynolds in on what happened and discovered a subtle polyp.
"You’re interrupting the natural history of a disease, of something of a process that could have ended up developing into cancer and causing all sorts of problems,” he said.
“Instead, you’re not only diagnosing the polyp, you’re taking it out. So, nobody would know that they had this, but he reached the age of screening, 45. He got a routine screening and there you go, that’s why people need to do this. They really need to do this. This saves lives, pure and simple.” Dr. Lapook claimed in the video while being recorded.
Ryan shared the video on Instagram with tranche of comments from celebrities and fans appreciating his stance.
“The procedure and prep were painless but the discomfort of filming and sharing the process was the hardest part. Rob and I did it because we want this potentially life-saving procedure to be less mysterious and stigmatized.” said Ryan in a statement.
For better or worse celebrity actions are emulated by audiences. Several actors have opened up about their illnesses in the past to create awareness among people. Some big names from Hollywood, Bollywood have impacted many. Sonali Bendre who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, had shared on Instagram about the therapy. Manisha Koirala after being certified cancer-free in 2012 had hitherto ovarian cancer. She shared the ups and downs on Instagram and published a book, HEALED in 2018, a personal recollection of how she battled stage 4 cancer. Khloe Kardashian and Wolverin actor, Hugh Jackman had undergone series of skin biopsies and captioned it in an influencing way. These were few of many celebrities who had been public about their struggles. It is brave and influential to share about personal downfalls, illnesses while in limelight. Indeed celebrities are the paragon of strength for those on this arduous journey, battling cancer.
(Inputs from various media reports)