Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have revealed they have both had polyps removed after undergoing “potentially life-saving” colonoscopies – which they filmed for a bet.
The actors, who famously became co-chairmen of Welsh football team Wrexham FC in 2021, shared details of their diagnoses – and how polyps can develop into cancer if left untreated – through awareness organisation Lead From Behind.
In a video posted on social media, McElhenney – speaking in Welsh – says Reynolds had bet him that he could not learn the language following their takeover of the club.
This meant Reynolds, best known for films including Deadpool and Free Guy, would have to broadcast his procedure, he says.
“Rob and I, we turned 45 this year,” says Reynolds. “And, you know, part of being this age is getting a colonoscopy. It’s a simple step that could literally, and I mean literally, save your life.”
The video then shows Reynolds arriving at the hospital.
“I would never normally have any medical procedure put on camera and then shared,” he says. “It’s not every day that you can raise awareness about something that will most definitely save lives. That’s enough motivation for me to let you in on a camera being shoved up my a**.”
After undergoing the procedure, he is later told by a doctor that an “extremely subtle polyp” was found on his colon.
“This was potentially life-saving for you,” the doctor tells him. “I’m not kidding. I’m not being overly dramatic.
“You are interrupting the natural history of a disease, of a process, that could have ended up developing into cancer and causing all sorts of problems.”
The video then goes on to show that McElhenney, best known for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, also underwent the procedure.
He jokes that he “could not go wrong” in terms of comparing his results to Reynolds’.
“They either find nothing, and that means my colon is cleaner than his, or they find a polyp and it’s either bigger than his… or it’s smaller than his which means I have less of an opportunity to have cancer,” he says. “Either way I win.”
Doctors discovered three polyps in McElhenney’s colon, which were also removed.
In the footage, doctors share the message that colon cancer is “a 100% preventable disease” if people are tested regularly.
The video ends with a message telling people to ask their doctors about colonoscopies to help “Rob and Ryan kick colon cancer’s a**”.
Reynolds and McElhenney have embraced their roles in Welsh football after taking full control of Wrexham FC from the Wrexham Supporters Trust in February 2021, investing £2m.
In April, Reynolds gifted a commemorative urinal to McElhenney at the club’s stadium.