Colon Cancer FAQs

Frequently asked colon cancer questions

What is the cause of colon cancer?

The exact cause of colon cancer is unknown, but the majority of colon cancers develop from abnormal growths on the lining of the colon or rectum called polyps.

Who is most likely to get colon cancer?

People at a higher risk for colon cancer may meet 1 or more of the following criteria:

  • Age 50 or older
  • African-American race
  • Personal or family history of colon cancer or polyps
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or other gastrointestinal (GI) issues
  • Low-fiber, high-fat diet
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Radiation therapy for cancer

What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

Colon cancer usually doesn't show symptoms in early stages, which is one reason why it's important to have a colonoscopy before you experience symptoms. Once symptoms of colon cancer appear, they may include

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Blood in the stool
  • A change in bowel habits for more than a few weeks (eg, persistent diarrhea or constipation)
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained or unintentional weight loss

Is colon cancer preventable?

Colon cancer can be prevented through screening and removal of polyps. If cancer is found, early detection often leads to a longer life, as 90% of people diagnosed when the cancer is found at an early stage survive more than 5 years.

Having regular colonoscopies (once every 10 years for patients with no risk factors) increases the likelihood of detecting colon cancer early, when it can often be cured. Screening can also play a crucial role in prevention because abnormal polyps and lesions may be found and removed before they become cancerous.

Indication for MOVIPREP

MOVIPREP® (PEG-3350, sodium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid for oral solution) is an osmotic laxative indicated for cleansing of the colon as a preparation for colonoscopy in adults 18 years of age or older.

Important Safety Information about MOVIPREP

  • Do not take MOVIPREP® (PEG-3350, sodium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid for oral solution) if you have a gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction (a blockage in your bowel), bowel perforation (an opening in the wall of your stomach or intestine), gastric retention (problems with food and fluid emptying from your stomach), ileus (bowel muscle unable to move stomach contents), toxic colitis (damage to the thickness of the intestinal wall) or toxic megacolon (an extremely dilated or distended colon with fever and/or abdominal pain at times), or if you have a known allergy to MOVIPREP or any of its components.
  • It is important to drink sufficient liquids before, during, and after the use of MOVIPREP. Liquid and blood salt changes can lead to serious side effects including abnormal heartbeats, seizures, and kidney problems. Talk to your doctor before taking MOVIPREP if you take any medications that increase the risk of blood salt abnormalities or if you have known or suspected low blood salt (sodium) level (hyponatremia).
  • If you have kidney problems or if you take medication that affects kidney function, talk to your doctor before taking MOVIPREP.
  • If you have suspected bowel blockage or a suspected opening in the wall of your stomach or intestine, talk to your doctor before taking MOVIPREP.
  • Talk to your doctor before taking MOVIPREP if you have problems swallowing, if you have gastric reflux, or if you are predisposed to aspiration.
  • If you have a condition that destroys red blood cells called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, talk to your doctor before taking MOVIPREP.
  • Please be advised that MOVIPREP contains 131 mg of phenylalanine per treatment.
  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking MOVIPREP.
  • In clinical studies with MOVIPREP, the most common side effects for split dosing were malaise (feeling uneasy), nausea, stomach (abdominal) pain, vomiting, and upper stomach pain. The most common side effects for evening only dosing were stomach swelling (abdominal distension), anal discomfort, thirst, nausea, stomach (abdominal) pain, sleep disorder, rigors (body shakes), hunger, malaise (feeling uneasy), vomiting, and dizziness.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch/ or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For product information, adverse event reports, and product complaint reports, please contact:

Salix Product Information Call Center
Phone: 1-800-508-0024
Fax: 1-510-595-8183
Email: salixmc@dlss.com

Please click here for complete Prescribing Information for MOVIPREP. 

For Dummies is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.