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Ovarian cancer and bowl obstruction

Hi All,
I am 3 years after diagnosis of HG serous 3C, with 1 recurrence March 2022 and second Taxol/Carbo series finished in July 2022.
 At present the 5 nodules seen on my last CT scan are stable, although I do get mid back, upper sides pain almost everyday.  I had a second opinion at PMH few days ago and was told to watch out for bowl obstruction. Doctor recommended a low fibre diet which I have a hard time getting my mind around. Just doesn’t seem very healthy.  The printout I was given recommends Sennekot and Restorlax. So my questions,
 Is bowl obstruction the norm for ovarian cancer ? Is it a real threat ? I am getting anxious.  Should I drink Restorlax daily ?  
Your comments and ideas will be much appreciated.


  • @Bojenka
       I have been dealing with this since last year and like you have tumours that cause this. I have had multiple occasions where I have experienced both ileus and partial bowel obstructions.  I find the Senokot causes too much motility which causes pain for myself. Thing to remember is Restoralax puts moisture in and Senokot moves it through. My diet is low in Fibre. I have plans in place and medications now to help me through both after being hospitalized a few times.  Make sure you address it right away should you think you are experiencing it.
    For me, the pain is sudden and nothing controls it which is my first warning that I am having one. I am unable to eat or drink anything either.  I take Restoralax daily with Veggie Greens to help prevent and also due to the pain meds I am on.
     I hope some of this helps. If you have any other questions, I will do my best to answer them.
  • Thank you @Strongwoman for replying and sharing. It’s very helpful.  

    I am trying to figure out how much Senokot I can take, observing the patterns in my body.  
    Last couple of weeks I had constipation and diarrhea sometimes same day. I had a couple of occasions of vomiting and terrible abdominal pain after eating a salad. It’s a roller coaster, considering my disease is stable according to the oncologist.

  •   Yes, it is hard to navigate for sure. I usually have one meal a day and snack the rest of the day. Mornings for me is usually my veggie greens (powder) with Restoralax and my oral meds. If I am not having lunch with a friend, I stick to dinner as my meal. Some days I eat regular amounts and other days not much at all. Right now we are investigating pain I am having along the left flank area that is pretty debilitating. I have had bloodwork and kidney function is same and not declining so that is good. Gave urine sample last week and no results that I am aware of. I have an ultrasound scheduled for Wed and hoping it gives us answers of some sort. 
      The Senokot is definitely something you have to play around with. I know some ladies on this forum take it daily and it works for them. For me, at this time, it doesn't. Restoralax seems to be it for me.
      The bowel obstructions can occur as a result of surgical adhesions and/or tumour sites pushing on the bowel. From my reading, partial obstructions can usually be managed and recovered from. Full is another story and depends on your individual case as to what they would recommend.
      I wish you the best as you navigate through this but know you are not walking it alone.

  • Hi @Bojenka Sorry you're back with us for the reason you are.  But always good to hear from you regardless.

    From my observations over the past six years of treatment, bowel obstruction does seem to be a primary issue for us. So far I've been lucky but I watch like a hawk for symptoms and stick with my Senekot regimen religiously.  Many get their issues cleared with medication though; surgery not necessarily being needed all the time which is always good to hear.

    I did see a nutritonist way back when and she confirmed the lower the fibre diet the better we can process food through our systems.  But I agree with you; not the most desirable list of foods so she helped me compromise and go to a mix of low and medium fibre and that seems to suit me well.  If you haven't I'd suggest you book an appointment with a nutritonist to do a proper assessment of your needs.  Most cancer centres have one and I'm sure your care team can facilitate the referral. 

    As for Senekot it took some time to establish my own patterns and it does change a bit from time to time but I seem to function well on 2 tabs every night.  When in treatment the night of I do 3 and usually the night after as well and then when things are normalizing go back my 2.  What I did find out when in hospital is that you can take much more if needed ir take Senekot and Restorolax  concurrently if things feel really blocked.  Chewing gum helps stimulate the bowel too.  I can say that the very occasional time I've been constitipated for more than 3 days I've upped my Senekot to as much as 4 pills before bed and it hasn't hurt me but did get some action going next day.  

    You're definitely wise monitoring your own bodily rythmns and I do suggest you ensure you check in with your care team until you get a program settled for yourself.  As for feeling anxious about an episode, i Have noticed the doctors and nurses seem more fixated on warning us to be aware than we get blockages.  I expect that's because a block that goes untreated can cause preforation which can be a far more serious issue to contend with.  

    Good luck gal.  i"m sure you'll be just fine.  And if you do experience anything that is cause for concern, call your care team and see if you need to be assessed in emerg.