The star turned 51 on September 25. On Wednesday, he posted an 18-minute vlog on YouTube about his first colonoscopy, which he had in August.
It was an eye-opening process for both the audience and the actor. It turned out that he had a precancerous polyp, or an abnormal growth of tissue, that was removed. If it hadn’t been found, his doctor, Dr. Ala Stanford, said it could have continued to “grow and grow and grow.”
The actor from “Gemini Man” wrote a book about his colonoscopy called “I Get My First Colonoscopy.” It starts with his drive to Lennar Foundation Medical Centre at the University of Miami at 5:30 a.m. and ends with his healing and test results a few days later. He put the video online with a link to the National Cancer Institute to get people to realise how important it is to get checked for cancer.
“We have to fix our health in 2019,” he says. At one point, he tells the camera, “Being healthy takes work and sometimes makes you feel embarrassed.” “Man, you just have to do it. Need to do it. What should we do?”
Smith is a funny guy, so he does sometimes use a light tone. During a trouble with the sound, he turns part of the video into a black-and-white silent film with ragtime piano music and helpful subtitles like “The colon is your large intestine, and “oscopy” means “to look.”
In the segment, which takes place during a meeting with Stanford before the operation, the word “Tragedy” flashes on the screen as he asks a good question: “How far in does it go?” —which makes Stanford open her arms wide.
He says, “I’m scared.” “You should be!” is what Stanford says in response. There’s a big “LOL” that takes up the whole screen.
But Smith stays calm during the whole shoot. At one point, he shakes his head and whispers, “My ass’s gonna be out,” while showing his blurry, uncovered bottom. He even makes jokes about the day before the surgery, when he took a strong enema solution that, in his words, “kicked in” at midnight.
“Twelve o’clock was a murder scene,” he says as a joke. “‘CSI: Miami’ would have had to come and check.”
Smith gave a peace sign to the camera before being wheeled into the endoscopy room, where the colonoscopy would be done by a different doctor.
“Don’t worry, the “Men in Black” star doesn’t show the real invasive procedure. Instead, the camera cuts to the recovery room, where Smith is groggy but smiling, making jokes, and asking for Belvedere or Ciroc vodka instead of ice water”.
Smith then says of the doctor, “He’s like the Martin Scorsese of my ass,” before he changes back into street clothes. Smith wears black Calvin Klein underwear, which is a fun fact!
Several days later, he has a video call with Dr. Stanford to get the results. During the call, Dr. Stanford tells him that the polyp is in his cecum, which is the biggest part of the colon. It was taken out and sent to a lab, where they found that it was precancerous tissue.
“That kind of polyp is the cause of 95% of colon cancers,” she tells him. She then thanks him for being a “compliant” patient and taking her advice to get a colonoscopy. She tells him he’ll need another one in two to three years.
Smith tells Dr. Stanford, “It’s important to me to be able to tell people about this so that, you know, other people can become compliant patients and stay healthy and happy for as many wonderful years as we can have.”
Then he blows her a kiss of thanks, hangs up the phone, lets out a breath, and says, “OK. We’re fine.