Survival rates and prognostic considerations in the management of carcinoma of the colon have been based primarily on the degree of local invasion, regional lymphatic involvement, and distant metastases. The literature is lacking in statistical studies concerned with that group of patients who present with the clinical picture of intestinal obstruction. While overt evidence of neoplastic spread beyond the limits of surgery is one guide in the management of carcinoma of the colon, a prerequisite to this is a pathological, or at least a surgical, appraisal. It would, therefore, seem desirable to have available some clinical basis for management and prognostication in dealing with certain stages of this disease.
Our initial thesis that the cure rate of obstructing carcinoma of the colon is 0% was found to be erroneous by this study. Nevertheless, the large discrepancy in overall survival rate between this group and the general colon carcinoma population is