Former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Luke Perry suffered a health scare in 2015 when his doctor found precancerous growths during a routine colonoscopy.
The actor, now 50, promptly had the growths removed, but he was lucky medics made the discovery in his colon before they developed into colorectal cancer – and now he is using his experience to urge others to get tested on a regular basis.
“Right now, there are 23 million Americans who haven’t been screened who need to be screened,” he told Fox News. “If I had waited, it could have been a whole different scenario.”
Colorectal cancer is typically associated with people over 55, but researchers at the American Cancer Society recently discovered that millennials now face double the risk of developing the illness compared to the baby boomer generation, which refers to people born between 1946 and 1964.
Perry has since joined forces with bosses at advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer to support its Strong Arm Selfie national campaign, which encourages social media users to share a snap of themselves flexing a bicep and using the hashtag “#StrongArmSelfie”. Pharmaceutical executives at Bayer Healthcare have pledged to donate $1 to the charity for every photo shared.
The actor’s close call with cancer emerges weeks after his former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty completed chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2015.