Treatment for bowel obstructions caused by cancer

Some bowel obstructions are caused by cancer that cannot be treated with surgery. In many cases, doctors can prescribe medicines and perform procedures to try to improve your quality of life.

You may take medicines called antisecretory agents, such as octreotide or scopolamine, to reduce the amount of digestive fluids your body releases into the intestines. The symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and pain may ease as the amount of fluid in the intestines decreases.

You may take narcotics such as morphine for pain and corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation that can add fluid to the intestines.

In some cases of obstruction caused by cancer, doctors may place expandable metal tubes called stents in the large intestine. The stents can help restore bowel function and improve symptoms.

Last Updated: May 7, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.