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Can ovarian cancer cause your intestines to shut down?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Morton Levitt
Pathology

In brief: Ovarian Cancer

Malignant bowel obstruction is a common complication in patients with ovarian cancer.
The prevalence of bowel obstruction is 4-25% in ovarian carcinoma or colorectal cancer. In patients with advanced ovarian cancer the frequency of bowel obstruction can be as high as 42%. The small bowel is more commonly involved than the large bowel (61% vs. 33%) and both are involved in over 20% of ovarian ca.

In brief: Ovarian Cancer

Malignant bowel obstruction is a common complication in patients with ovarian cancer.
The prevalence of bowel obstruction is 4-25% in ovarian carcinoma or colorectal cancer. In patients with advanced ovarian cancer the frequency of bowel obstruction can be as high as 42%. The small bowel is more commonly involved than the large bowel (61% vs. 33%) and both are involved in over 20% of ovarian ca.
Dr. Morton Levitt
Dr. Morton Levitt
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Dr. Barry Rosen
Surgery

In brief: Yes.

Many cancers that arise from organs within the abdominal cavity can lead to spread of cancer throughout the lining of the abdominal cavity, called carcinomatosis.
This can lead to intestinal obstruction, effectively causing the intestines to "shut down". These cancers may occasionally be responsive to chemotherapy but are more typically a pre-terminal finding.

In brief: Yes.

Many cancers that arise from organs within the abdominal cavity can lead to spread of cancer throughout the lining of the abdominal cavity, called carcinomatosis.
This can lead to intestinal obstruction, effectively causing the intestines to "shut down". These cancers may occasionally be responsive to chemotherapy but are more typically a pre-terminal finding.
Dr. Barry Rosen
Dr. Barry Rosen
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