Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney colon cancer screening: NPR

Ryan Reynolds filming his colonoscopy, pictured in 2016. A doctor found a polyp and safely removed it.

Dimitrios Kamboris/Getty Images

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Dimitrios Kamboris/Getty Images

What started out as a friendly bet between Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney has turned into a life-saving, learnable moment.

“I made a bet. I lost. But it paid off,” Reynolds wrote on YouTube as part of a public awareness campaign for colon cancer.

It all started last year when the pair, who co-own a Welsh soccer club, bet whether McElhenney could learn to speak Welsh. If McElhenney, who stars in It’s Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaWon the stakes, Reynolds agreed to publicly film his colonoscopy.

But keeping his side on the deal, Reynolds’ doctor detected a benign polyp — a tissue growth that could be a precursor to cancer.

Reynolds, who has three children and expect a quarterThe growing polyp had no symptoms and was “extremely subtle” before it was removed, his doctor said. Video Posted on Tuesday about the experience.

Reynolds’ doctor told the actor, “It was potentially life-saving for you. I’m not kidding.”

McElhenney also decided to have a colonoscopy and her doctor removed three polyps, which are later shown in the video.

have colon cancer second leading cause of cancer death In the US but it is highly preventable through preliminary investigation. Here’s what you need to know:

When to Schedule a Colonoscopy

In most cases, adults between the ages of 45 and 75 should schedule regular colonoscopies every 10 years, US Preventive Services Task Force found it.

There are some people under 45 recommended They have inflammatory bowel disease if they have Crohn’s disease, a personal or family history of colon cancer, or a genetic syndrome that causes polyp growth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with these conditions should also get tested more often, American Cancer Society it is said.

Experts said it is important to get tested sooner rather than later. In fact, colon cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for people under the age of 50. National Cancer Institute.

recent research Studies show that screening colonoscopy can reduce the relative risk of getting colon cancer by 52% and the risk of dying from it by 62%.

What to expect from the screening itself

colonoscopies to be involved A long, thin, flexible tube used to check for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and the entire colon. If polyps are detected – similar to the case of Reynolds and McElhenney – doctors will also use the time to remove them.

Polyps are common – more than 40% of adults over the age of 50 have precancerous polyps in the colon. American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy,

process usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.

Colonoscopy is one of several ways to screen for colon cancer, including: non-invasive stool test and sigmoidoscopy, in which a small, thin tube is inserted into the rectum to examine the lower third of the colon.

CDC advises patients to talk to their doctors about which test is right for you,

Colonoscopy is supposed to be free but patients report getting bills – what to do if you do

Preventive health care, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, is free for patients under the Affordable Care Act, but there are exceptions.

Some patients may be billed for the procedure if it is for “diagnosis” versus “screening” purposes. This distinction is often decided by doctors and hospitals. For example, people who have a family history of colon cancer or a personal history of polyps are likely to have a higher risk of cancer and, therefore, classify their colonoscopy as “diagnostic.”

It is important to note that polyp removals are usually not enough to be considered “diagnostic”. under the law, Since there is little federal oversight around this provision, it is up to the patient to make sure they are billed correctly.

Experts recommend checking any coverage minefields that will allow providers to charge for polyp removal.

“Contact the insurer before the colonoscopy and say, ‘Hey, I just want to get a sense of what the coverage limits are and what my out-of-pocket costs might be,'” says Anna Howard, a policy author at the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Principal Action Network, told Kaiser Health News,

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