This is a sponsored post. Salix Pharmaceuticals compensated me for this post. All opinions are my own. Certain product information has been included to meet regulations.
When cancer touched my life, I became much more aware and proactive about spreading as much important information as I could about anything cancer-related. Cancer touched our family’s life (almost) 7 years ago. My husband was diagnosed at the age of 36 years old with a cancerous GIST tumor which was growing in his abdomen. It shocked us and rocked our world. There was no warning for weeks. He was “perfectly fine” as we could tell. He was literally going about life as usual until one night he started having extreme abdominal pain, so much so that he couldn’t even stand up. I thought his appendix had burst, so I rushed him to our local hospital. We were told pretty quickly after he had a CAT scan that it appeared to be a tumor and they wanted it out immediately. The rest is a blur for me, I was worried about my husband… I was worried about his health… I was worried about his recovery… I was worried about everything. He had the tumor removed that night and he was placed on a Chemo pill for the next 3 years. 7 years later, I still worry about him. I still think about what he went through and am thankful that we found it and were able to get it taken care of so quickly.
I’ve made it a personal mission to spread awareness about being proactive with your health, especially when it comes to screening for cancer. After my husband experienced this, he has had to go for routine colonoscopies for his gastro health and to check for colorectal cancer. My father also suffers from Crohn’s Disease – a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract – so he has had routine colonoscopies to check for colorectal cancer. It’s a great way to stay on top of your gastro health and be proactive in making sure everything looks normal. Let’s face it, nobody really wants to get a colonoscopy – they’re not the most pleasant tests to have done, but they are extremely important and could save your life. When you get to be my age, it’s something that you really need to make sure you’re staying on top of and add to your list of health screenings. The American Cancer Society recently revised their guidelines to recommend that people start screening for colorectal cancer at age 45 instead of 50, yet bowel cleansing remains a turnoff and even prevents some people from getting this critical screening. Whenever I’ve talked with anyone about getting a colonoscopy, the bowel cleansing… well, it’s brought up as the big reason why they’re hesitant on getting it done. That’s not good.
Why should you be screened for colorectal cancer? Why is it important for me personally to share this information with you? Take a look at these stats:
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there are approximately 97,000 new cases of colon cancer and 43,000 new cases of rectal cancer for 2018.
The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 22 (4.49%) for men and 1 in 24 (4.15%) for women.
These statistics are staggering for me to read. 97,000 new cases of colon cancer this year? But here’s the good news, you can reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer. As you read above, I have a personal story attached to why I want to be proactive, but it’s more than that for me. I have 5 kids and it’s important for me to do anything I can to stay healthy for them. It’s vital to make sure you do what you can to protect yourself.
What you can do?
1. Successful colorectal cancer screening can help save lives.
2. Screening is important because it’s the process of looking for cancer or pre-cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease.
3. From the time the first abnormal cells start to grow into polyps, it usually takes about 10 to 15 years for them to develop into colorectal cancer. With regular screening, most polyps can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer.
4. According to updated guidelines from the American Cancer Society, if you’re at average risk and age 45 or older, you should start getting screened for colorectal cancer.
5. There are several test options available for colorectal cancer screenings, including stool-based tests and visual exams of the colon and rectum (e.g., colonoscopy).
6. If you have a strong family history of colorectal polyps or cancer, you should talk with your doctor about your risk and what age to begin screenings.
I recently just learned about a product called PLENVU® (polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium ascorbate, sodium sulfate, ascorbic acid, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride for oral solution) that is a low-volume bowel prep solution used by adults to cleanse the colon before a colonoscopy. The reason why I wanted to share this with you is because I’m hoping that this will encourage anyone who is worried about the prep portion to be more at ease. A colonoscopy is a life-saving screening and anything that encourages a successful prep – is something that is so important to share.
PLENVU® (polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium ascorbate, sodium sulfate, ascorbic acid, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride for oral solution) is a prescription medication used by adults to clean the colon before a colonoscopy.
- IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not take PLENVU® if you have a blockage in your intestine (bowel obstruction), an opening in the wall of your stomach or intestine (bowel perforation), problems with food or fluid emptying from your stomach (gastric retention), a problem with food moving too slowly through your intestines (ileus), a very dilated large intestine, or an allergy to any of the ingredients in PLENVU®.
Please see additional Important Safety Information below and click here for full Prescribing Information for PLENVU®.
According to patients’ experiences and reported barriers to colonoscopy, most patients perceived the bowel preparation to be the most burdensome part of colonoscopy. Complaints regarding bowel preparation typically relate to the large volumes necessary to consume and the unpleasant taste. Some bowel prep solutions require as much as four liters of fluid. By offering a low-volume bowel prep, Salix hopes to improve the patient colonoscopy preparation experience with PLENVU®. More than 66% of patients found the taste of PLEVNU “acceptable” or “very acceptable” and 78% were willing to take PLENVU® again. PLENVU® is the only bowel prep FDA approved for same-day morning-of-colonoscopy dosing* and 2-day split-dosing.
*The “One-Day Morning Dosing Regimen” (as it is labeled in the Prescribing Information) is referred to as “Same-Day Morning-of-Colonoscopy Dosing.”
I hope knowing about PLENVU® will ease your worries about getting a colonoscopy done. If you’re 45 years old or older, I really hope you take a moment to reach out to your doctor to discuss setting up an appointment and getting your screening done. Any time you can do something for yourself and your health, it’s important.
Please take note of this important information about PLENVU®:
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Do not take PLENVU® if you have a blockage in your intestine (bowel obstruction), an opening in the wall of your stomach or intestine (bowel perforation), problems with food or fluid emptying from your stomach (gastric retention), a problem with food moving too slowly through your intestines (ileus), a very dilated large intestine, or an allergy to any of the ingredients in PLENVU®.
- It is important to drink sufficient clear liquids before, during, and after the use of PLENVU®. Be sure to consume additional clear liquids after the first dose and second dose of PLENVU®. Stop drinking liquids 2 hours prior to colonoscopy.
- Before you take PLENVU®, talk to your doctor if you:
Have problems with serious loss of body fluid (dehydration) and changes in blood salts (electrolytes).
Have heart problems or take medication that affects your heart. Your doctor may consider obtaining an electrocardiogram (ECG) test if you are at an increased risk for heart rhythm abnormalities.
Have a history of seizures or take antiseizure medication.
Have kidney problems or take medication that affects kidney function. Your doctor may want to perform blood testing before and after your colonoscopy.
Have a history of stomach or bowel problems, such as ulcerative colitis, a bowel blockage, or a suspected opening in the wall of your stomach or intestine.
Have problems swallowing, heartburn (gastric reflux), or if you inhale food or fluid into your lungs when eating or drinking (aspirate).
Have a condition that destroys red blood cells, called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
Are withdrawing from drinking alcohol.
Have phenylketonuria (PKU). PLENVU® contains aspartame equivalent to 491 mg of phenylalanine per treatment.
Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
- PLENVU® may affect how other medications work. Tell your doctor about all other medications (including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements) you take before you take PLENVU®. Do not take oral medications within 1 hour before or after starting each dose of PLENVU®.
- Symptoms of serious allergic reactions may include skin rash, itching, raised red patches on your skin (hives), swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat, and kidney problems.
- In clinical studies with PLENVU®, the most common side effects in patients taking PLENVU® were nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and abdominal pain/discomfort.
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.
Please click here for full Prescribing Information for PLENVU®.