I was reading a post on The Cancer Blog that discusses the new Alli (which was formerly a prescription diet drug by the name of Orlistat) as a cancer worry.
The over-the-counter version weight loss pills are supposed to be more effective with less side effects but it is believed to cause colon cancer. A non-profit group, Public Citizen, says Alli has been shown to cause pre-cancerous lesions in the colons of mice.
The group believes that since there were no long-term studies done on humans that the FDA should never have approved the drug.
” It’s not clear whether or not the pre-cancerous spots will lead to colon cancer but the mere suggestion that it might is enough”, says a Public Citizen spokesperson.
“What we do know is that these lesions occur much more frequently in people who do get colon cancer,” he said. “Why do we recommend that everyone get a colonscopy at the age of 50? Because you pick up on these polyps when you do one. And, even though not all of the polyps are pre-cancerous, no (doctor) does a colonscopy without removing every single polyp that is found. And you do this because you know if you don’t, it greatly increases the chances of getting cancer.”