What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer refers to cancer that occurs anywhere in the large intestine or rectum. This part of the digestive system
) is where the digestive process
is completed and waste (stool) is prepared for elimination from the body.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 142,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in the United
States this year alone—resulting in more than 51,000 deaths.1
That makes colon cancer the second leading cause of
cancer-related death in the United States.2
Polyps are abnormal tissue growths in the lining of the large intestine. If left undetected, polyps can become cancerous over the course of several years.
Source: Stephen Holland, MD, Naperville Gastroenterology, Naperville, IL, USA.
While the exact cause of colon cancer is unknown, in most cases, it is preventable
if the warning signs are caught
early enough. Colon cancer usually develops slowly over a period of several years and begins as an abnormal tissue
growth called a polyp
. Most polyps are not initially cancerous, but over the course of several
years, some polyps may become cancerous. If left untreated colon cancer can spread to other parts of the body. A
can help find and remove colon
polyps before they become cancerous. The removal of colon polyps during a colonoscopy reduces the potential risk
for developing colon cancer.
Flat lesions are more difficult to locate and more likely to be cancerous than the more familiar polyps with a knobby appearance.
Adapted from Soetikno et al.3 With permission.
A colonoscopy also can be used to check for flat lesions. These are another type of colon growth that have a
greater risk of being cancerous than other lesions. Because these flat masses are typically at the same level as
the colon wall, it’s extremely difficult for healthcare providers to locate them. Every attempt should be made by
patients to complete their colon prep successfully, as this can increase the chance of detecting a flat lesion if
one should exist.
What are the risk factors 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.
- Cancer stat fact sheets: cancer of the colon and rectum. Available at:
Accessed October 06, 2010.
- Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition. Colorectal cancer fact sheet. Available at:
http://www.fdhn.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=210. Accessed October 06, 2010.
- Soetikno RM, Kaltenbach T, Rouse RV, et al. Prevalence of nonpolypoid (flat and depressed) colorectal neoplasms in asymptomatic and symptomatic adults. JAMA. 2008;299:1027-1035.