What puts you at risk for colon cancer?
While the exact cause of colon cancer
remains unknown, the disease appears to be influenced by both inherited and
The first factor is age. Although colon cancer can strike at any age, 90% of new cases are seen in people older than 50
Those who have a personal or family history of bowel disease have a higher risk for developing the disease.
Bowel disease includes colon polyps
hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer
(HNPCC—this is an inherited syndrome that increases the likelihood
for colorectal cancer), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of
inflammatory conditions of the large intestine and should not be confused with the less serious irritable
bowel syndrome. Common forms of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. People with an immediate
family member who has a history of one of these conditions or of colon cancer are at a higher risk. If you or
someone in your immediate family has a history of these conditions, you are encouraged to ask your healthcare
provider about undergoing a colonoscopy.
Diet seems to influence colon cancer rates as well. People who have diets high in fat (including red meat, fried foods, and
high-fat dairy products) and low in fruits and vegetables may increase their risk for colon cancer.
Lifestyle factors can also increase the risk of developing colon cancer. These factors include smoking, alcohol use, sedentary
lifestyle, and obesity.
While genetic factors may contribute to a person's risk for colon cancer, dietary and other lifestyle factors may determine
which at-risk individuals actually develop the disease. Still, 75% of all colon cancer cases occur in people with no known
medical risk factors.2
This emphasizes the importance of routine
colon cancer screening
Continue reading to learn more about risk factors, or find out if you’re at risk for colon cancer by taking our
What is your level of risk for colon cancer?
What are the symptoms of colon cancer?
What can be done to prevent colon cancer?
What is a colonosocopy?
Important Safety Information about OsmoPrep
There have been rare, but serious reports of acute phosphate nephropathy in patients who received oral sodium phosphate products for colon cleansing prior
to colonoscopy. Some cases have resulted in permanent impairment of renal function and some patients required long–term dialysis. While some
cases have occurred in patients without identifiable risk factors, patients at increased risk of acute phosphate nephropathy may include those with
increased age, hypovolemia, increased bowel transit time (such as bowel obstruction), active colitis, or baseline kidney disease, and those using
medicines that affect renal perfusion or function (such as diuretics, angiotensin converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers
[ARBs], and possibly nonsteroidal anti–inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs]).
It is important to use the dose and dosing regimen as recommended (PM/AM split dose).
Please see full Prescribing Information for OsmoPrep, including BOXED WARNING.
OsmoPrep® (sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate, USP, and sodium phosphate dibasic anhydrous, USP) Tablets are indicated for cleansing
of the colon as a preparation for colonoscopy in adults 18 years of age or older. Considerable caution should be advised before OsmoPrep is used in
patients with severe renal insufficiency, congestive heart failure, ascites, unstable angina, gastric retention, ileus, severe chronic constipation,
bowel perforation, toxic megacolon, gastric bypass or stapling surgery, or hypomotility syndrome. Use with caution in patients with impaired renal
function, patients with a history of seizures or at higher risk of seizure, patients with higher risk of cardiac arrhythmias, known or suspected electrolyte
disturbances (such as dehydration), or people taking drugs that affect electrolyte levels. Patients with electrolyte abnormalities such as
hypernatremia, hyperphosphatemia, hypokalemia, or hypocalcemia should have their electrolytes corrected before treatment with OsmoPrep.
OsmoPrep is contraindicated in patients with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to sodium phosphate salts or any of its ingredients, and in patients with
biopsy–proven acute phosphate nephropathy. In clinical trials, the most commonly reported adverse reactions (reporting frequency >3%) were
abdominal bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. It is recommended that patients receiving OsmoPrep be advised to adequately hydrate before,
during, and after the use of OsmoPrep.
- Colon Cancer Alliance. Disease information: CRC facts & figures. Available at: http://www.ccalliance.org/about/disease/crcfacts.html.
Accessed April 12, 2007.
- Tomeo CA, Colditz GA, Willett WC, et al. Harvard report on cancer prevention. Volume 3: prevention of colon cancer
in the United States. Cancer Causes Control. 1999;10:167-180.