The actor recently decided to document his first colonoscopy in order to highlight the importance of the preventative cancer screening procedure.
And recording the whole thing is pretty intimate, considering a camera is inserted into the rectum to look for changes or abnormalities in the large intestine.
But considering colon cancer is one of the leading cancer killers in America, it’s a pretty important thing to do.
“It’s a simple step that could literally, and I mean literally, save your life,” Ryan said during the video.
According to the American Cancer Society, it’s recommended that people with an average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screenings at age 45.
Ryan and his soccer-club owner Rob McElhenney both just turned 45, so they teamed up with Lead From Behind, a new initiative hoping to spread the message that colon cancer is “the preventable cancer.”
“I’ve been on camera a lot. But this was the first time one was shoved up my ass,” Ryan said. “The procedure and prep were painless but the discomfort of filming and sharing the process was the hardest part.”
In the video, Ryan shared the moments leading up to the procedure and his time in the recovery room, where his doctor actually shared that he had found an “extremely subtle polyp.”
“This was potentially life-saving for you — I’m not kidding; I’m not being overly dramatic,” the doctor shared. “This is exactly why you do this. You had no symptoms.”
He continued, “You are interrupting the natural history of a disease of something of a process that could have ended up developing into cancer and causing all sorts of problems.”
After making such an important discovery, Ryan is even more committed to the cause, hoping that sharing the footage can make colonoscopies “less mysterious and stigmatized.”