Malignant Bowel Obstruction in Patients With Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2016 Apr;33(3):272-5. doi: 10.1177/1049909114566225. Epub 2014 Dec 31.


We sought to report incidence, risk factors, and survival related to bowel obstruction in 311 ovarian cancer patients with recurrent disease. A total of 68 (22%) had a documented bowel obstruction during their cancer course, and 49 (16%) developed it after cancer recurrence. Surprisingly, 142 (45%) fit into an "unknown" category (3+ months of data lacking from last contact/death). No risk factors were identified; management included surgery (n = 21), conservative measures (n = 21), and other (n = 7). Documented bowel obstruction was not associated with a statistically significant reduction in survival after cancer recurrence. In conclusion, although bowel obstruction occurs in only a subgroup of patients with ovarian cancer and does not appear to detract from survival after cancer recurrence, limited end-of-life information may be resulting in an underestimation of incidence.

Keywords: bowel obstruction; end of life; morbidity; ovarian cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / complications*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult