Dr. Mehmet Oz, 50, turned to close friend and producer Oprah Winfrey for support after he received upsetting news that he had a precancerous growth, an adenomatous polyp, in his colon.
This potentially harmful growth will require Oz to have regular screenings for colon cancer.
Oz told People that once he broke the news to Winfrey, who calls him, ‘America’s Doctor,’ “Her main question, classic Oprah, was, ‘I don’t care about this stuff. Are you okay? That’s the bigger question.’ It’s all about how do you deal with the rough waters you hit? This was a storm that came over the horizon.”
Oz tells People that Winfrey, 56, expressed her own goals of making her health a priority, and to get a colonoscopy immediately. Oz recalls, “She’d been putting it off, like I would have done. But she saw how important it is to have early detection.”
Oz told People how devastating the news of the precancerous growth was for him, “This was a shakeup for me. I have done everything right. I don’t have any family history, and yet I’m high risk now.”
If left untreated, the precancerous tissue could have likely turned into colon cancer. Oz will be screened again in three months to see whether all of the growth was removed, and to make sure no other precancerous tissue has grown.
“The only thing holding me back from a terrible outcome is the dumb luck that I checked myself out for the show. I would have put this off, like a lot of people. But I bet this saved my life.”
This scare has forced Oz to find the upside of his potential health difficulty. Oz hopes to inspire more people to undergo frequent colonoscopy screenings after age 50. He plans to discuss his health scare on The Dr. Oz Show’s season premiere on September 7th.