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Malignant Intestinal Obstruction

Intestinal obstruction is a recognised complication of advanced cancer of abdominal or pelvic origin but can also occur secondary to metastases from other sites. Incidence is reported as being between 5.5-42% in ovarian carcinoma and 4.4-24% in colorectal cancer. It represents the cause of death in 25-59% of patients with advanced ovarian malignancy.

Obstruction may be mechanical (intraluminal, intramural or extrinsic) or functional (peristaltic failure) in nature or a combination of these. It can occur as a result of a single obstructing lesion but often (especially in patients with ovarian carcinoma) it can be at multiple levels.  Benign adhesions can also occur in patients with malignant disease. Constipation is an important differential diagnosis. Intestinal obstruction is often associated with a poor prognosis of a few months.


The above is an extract from our Malignant Intestinal Obstruction guideline.  

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Malignant Intestinal Obstruction guideline