There are several relevant strategies for patients with cancer who have malignant bowel obstruction. According to Jocelyn White, MD, strategies for management must be based on patient characteristics, current cancer treatment, and care goals.
“For hospice and palliative patients, we start by treating the reversible causes,” Dr. White said. “The first thing you do when you suspect obstruction is to try to treat for pseudo-obstruction. I can’t tell you how many times we have gotten patients referred to us for complete malignant bowel obstruction who actually are constipated or obstipated.”