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Ryan Reynolds Underwent a ‘Potentially Life-Saving’ Colonoscopy Because Of A Bet

Baring it all for the camera, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney busted open the door on an often-stigmatized medical procedure — and the results turned out to be lifesaving.

To de-stigmatize colonoscopies, the two actors and soccer club co-chairmen partnered with the cancer-awareness organization Lead from Behind and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, to capture them getting the procedure. 

The process was filmed and posted on the Deadpool star’s YouTube channel Tuesday, titled “Rob & Ryan Lead From Behind”, in which the men shared the bet they made last year that if McElhenney learned to speak Welsh, Reynolds allow the cameras to follow him during his colonoscopy.

“He was so sure [he’d win the bet] he said he’d publicly broadcast his colonoscopy if I could do it,” McElhenney wrote (in Welsh) via captions.

In the video, Reynolds shared that he and the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia writer and actor both turned 45 this year —  which is the average age where people are encouraged to start screening for colorectal cancer. The video then showed Reynolds arriving for his first colonoscopy, in which the doctor described the  examination, which takes all of 30 minutes, as “stunningly effective”. 

“It’s a simple step that could literally, and I mean literally, save your life,” Reynolds said.

And that turned out to be true for Reynolds. During his colonoscopy, the doctors found that Reynolds had an “extremely subtle polyp” on the right side of his colon, which was quickly removed.

“This was potentially life-saving for you — I’m not kidding, I’m not being overly dramatic,” the doctor told the actor in the clip. “This is exactly why you do this. You had no symptoms.”

In the footage, the doctor showed images of Reynold’s scan, noting that removing the polyps meant stopping the development of a disease “that could have ended up developing into cancer and causing all sorts of problems.” And given the news that Reynolds and wife Blake Lively are expecting their fourth child, it’s undoubtedly a relief for him to know he prevented future complications.

Diverting away from the original bet, McElhenney’s procedure was also filmed — with his doctor finding three polyps that “were not a big deal, but certainly a good thing that we found them early and removed them.”

To lighten the mood, McElhenney also tapped into his competitive nature and joked about wanting to “win” against Reynolds in their colon health journies: “I figure I can’t go wrong in terms of comparing myself to Ryan,” he said. “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.”

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths among both men and women and is the third most cancer diagnosed, excluding skin cancers.

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