JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Management of Malignant Bowel Obstruction Associated With GI Cancers

Aaron J Franke, Atif Iqbal, Jason S Starr, Rajesh M Nair, Thomas J George
Journal of Oncology Practice 2017, 13 (7): 426-434
28697317
For many patients with GI malignancies, the seeding of the abdominal cavity with tumor cells, called peritoneal carcinomatosis, is a common mode of metastases and disease progression. Prognosis for patients with this aspect of their disease remains poor, with high disease-related morbidity and complications. Uniform and proven practices that provide optimal palliative care and quality of life for these patients are needed. The objective of this review is to critically assess the current literature regarding palliative strategies in the management of peritoneal carcinomatosis and associated symptoms in patients with advanced GI cancers. Despite encouraging results in the select population where cytoreductive surgery and intraperitoneal chemotherapy are indicated, the majority of patients who develop peritoneal carcinomatosis in the setting of GI cancers have poor prognosis, with malignant bowel obstruction representing a common terminal phase of their disease process. For all patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis, aggressive symptom control and early multimodality palliative care as further outlined should be sought.

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