Will Smith knew that at age 51 he was due to get his first colonoscopy. So, the former "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star decided to film the routine procedure and share it in a joke-filled video for fans.
The silly idea may have ended up saving Smith's life.
During the procedure, a gastroenterologist found and removed a polyp, which turned out to be precancerous, from Smith's colon.
The Hollywood A-lister jokes at the start of his 17-minute video, which he shared this week to YouTube, that he decided to get a colonoscopy because "I'm 50, so people need to look up my stuff."
That's true. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends adults begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 50.
As the video continues, viewers watch as Smith poses in his hospital gown before the procedure. He shakes his head with mock worry. "My (bleep) is gonna be out," he whispers to the camera.
Soon Smith's given anesthesia and wheeled away. The next time viewers see him, he's groggy but still filled with humor.
"I haven't done many drugs in my life, so, this stuff works on me really well," he shares, adding, "I feel like I have to poop. Do I have to poop? Or was there a camera up my a-- that's giving me the sensation?"
After leaving the hospital, Smith tells viewers, "Everything feels normal. 2019, gotta get our health right. There's a certain amount of commitment and embarrassment involved with being healthy. You just gotta do it, man."
Days later, Smith's physician, Dr. Ala Stanford, calls him to inform him that during the procedure a polyp was removed from his colon. A lab test revealed the polyp was a tubular adenoma containing precancerous tissues.
Ninety-five percent of colon cancers arise from that exact kind of polyp, Stanford explains. Finding the lesion early was lucky.
"Had you not known, it continues to grow and grow and grow," Stanford tells him. "And African American men in particular, the right colon is where cancer is high. ... You would've had fewer typical symptoms. And by the time you presented, it could be full-blown and spread throughout your body."
Stanford also informs Smith he should now plan on more frequent colonoscopies.
"We diagnosed this early," she says. "So what it means for you, in real talk: Instead of getting a screening every 10 years — which is what happens when people have a normal colonoscopy — you need to get yours done in the next two to three years."
After Smith's shock wears off, he thanks the doctor for "pushing" him to get the procedure done.
"You know, when I decided I wanted to shoot this as a vlog, it was much more, 'Hey, this will be cool. This will be fun,'" Smith shares. "I didn't realize that there would be a precancerous polyp that would get found out of it."