Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney personally put spotlight on colon cancer screenings

Reynolds and McElhenney in “Welcome to Wrexham”/FX

Ryan Reynolds and his fellow co-owner of the soccer team Wrexham AFC, Rob McElhenney, nearly literally put their backsides on the line, for a lifesaving cause. 

The Welcome to Wrexham co-stars took part in a video raising awareness about colon cancer screenings by sharing details into their own colonoscopy procedures, in conjunction with the colon cancer awareness organization Lead from Behind, and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. 

“Rob and I both turned 45 this year and you know, part of being this age is getting a colonoscopy,” Reynolds said in the video. “It’s a simple step that could literally, and I mean literally, save your life.”

Naturally, the pair turned it into a competition. 

The video opens with the both of them explaining that Reynolds bet McElhenney that he wouldn’t learn how to speak Welsh. And if he did, Reynolds would have his colonoscopy filmed.

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Ryan lost, as evidenced by the Always Sunny star explaining the situation in the native tongue of their football club.

Dr. Jonathan LaPook at NYU Langone Health led Reynolds’s procedure and told the actor that he found an “extremely subtle polyp” on the right side of his colon.

“This was potentially lifesaving for you,” LaPook told Reynolds. “This is exactly why you do this.”

“You are interrupting the natural history of a disease…a process, that could have ended up developing into cancer…,” LaPook said. “Instead, you’re not only diagnosing the polyp, you’re taking it out.”

According to the American Cancer Society, it can take abnormal cells that turn into polyps about 10 to 15 years to develop into colorectal cancer.

Through regular screening, polyps can be found and removed before they do, the American Cancer Society said.

A healthy diet, exercise, and quitting smoking can also lower your risk.

McElhenney also brought cameras into his procedure where doctors found three small polyps, which they said were not a big deal; the growths were also removed.

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