Ryan Reynolds showed all the details of the colonoscopy that saved his life – NiT

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Ryan Reynolds showed all the details of the colonoscopy that saved his life

The actor had a polyp in his intestines that could easily turn into a malignant tumor, that is, cancer.

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney had to have their first routine colonoscopies and decided to share the moment to sensitize others. It is one of the tests that allow detecting the presence of tumors in the intestine and colon. Cancer that arises in this organ is one of the most prevalent oncological diseases in the world. The actors agreed to film the day of the procedure to later be shared by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

The two friends celebrated their 45th anniversary this year, which means, according to the North American disease prevention guidelines, that it was time to take the exam. Colonoscopy is not an easy procedure to do, however it is one of the most effective methods of preventing colon and rectal cancer. It allows for an in-depth study, through a probe, of the entire large intestine and colon and to verify the presence of lesions.

After a bet between the two, the two actors and owners of the Werexham football club decided to show the whole process. Reynolds and McElhenney gambled that Rob would not be able to learn Welsh by the time of the colonoscopy. If he learned, Ryan would have to share the graphic details of the exam with the world. The protagonist of “Deadpool” lost and the procedure was even filmed.

What you don’t see in the footage, but what we can see through the doctor’s comments, is that the exam requires difficult preparation to clean the intestines. The first step is to eliminate products rich in fiber and fat in the previous two days and give preference to simple foods such as yogurt and toast. The day before comes the worst phase: drinking an intestinal cleansing solution and not eating any solids. During the procedure, patients can choose to be awake or anesthetized. The actors preferred the second option and that’s why they were sleeping during the 30 minutes that the intervention lasted.

Ryan Reynolds explained that while uncomfortable it is a simple test that can save lives. And it was the case. At the end of the examination, the doctor explained to the actor that they had found an “extremely subtle polyp” on the right side of the colon. The sharing underlines the importance of this exam, since Ryan had no symptoms of the presence of the injury. After explaining how he removed it, the clinician added: “We have interrupted the natural history of the disease. We stopped a process that could have ended up developing into cancer and causing all sorts of problems”.

Although Ryan lost the bet, the video also includes footage of McElhenney’s colonoscopy. In these it is possible to see that he also had lesions in the intestine. In his case, there were three polyps, which were also removed during the examination. Conclusion: Don’t miss routine colonoscopies. But maybe it’s best not to place bets that involve filming the procedure.

The importance of colonoscopy

Colon and rectal cancers are two of the most prevalent cancers in Portugal, both in men and women. They affect about 6,000 Portuguese a year. It is a pathology that develops slowly, starting with small lesions, the polyps, which grow until they form potentially malignant tumors. According to oncologist Sérgio Barroso, when detected early, it is easily treated.

The most effective way of diagnosing these cancers is colonoscopy, because during the examination, if there are polyps, they are immediately removed. In Portugal, this exam must be taken from the age of 50. However, in individuals at increased risk, such as those who have family members with the disease, it is recommended that it be done earlier. “If you have someone in your family who has had a tumor, we recommend screening 10 years before the age the family member was when they were diagnosed.”

This procedure also allows the detection of other diseases, albeit benign, of the intestinal tract. We talk about nervous colitis, Chron’s disease, among others. If there are tumors, there are other tests that can be done when colonoscopy is not possible. The fecal occult blood test is one of the most common, as “polyps can bleed and this passes into the stool, which is a sign of their presence”.

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