When to perform palliative surgery in the treatment of ovarian cancer: a brief review
Soares, Jose Maria [UNIFESP]
Motta, E. Vieira da
Juliao, C. Carneiro
Baracat, Edmund Chada [UNIFESP]
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The objective of this review was to address the main indications for palliative surgery in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Design: Articles from MEDLINE/PUBMED, EMBASE, and LILACS databases up to May 05, 2012 were included with no bars on foreign languages. The key words used were taken from the Medical Subject Headings and were as follows: ovarian cancer AND palliative surgery, ovarian cancer AND complications, and ovarian cancer AND intestinal obstruction. Subsequently, the references from the original articles were also analyzed. Results: Among the complications developing in the course of malignant neoplasia, intestinal obstruction stands out as the main indication for palliative surgery, which may also be indicated for rectovaginal and enterovaginal fistulas, as well as for genital and lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Conclusion: Although incurable, the patients with complications due to ovarian cancer may have an extended survival and an improved quality of life with palliative surgery for the following reasons: a) improvement in the nutritional state after treatment for intestinal obstruction due to the possibility of oral nutrition; and b) improvement in clinical conditions, allowing for palliative chemotherapy.
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