Appendix Cancer

About Appendix Cancer

Appendix cancer is rare. it is located close to where the large intestine and small intestine come together.The appendix doesn’t have a known purpose. Appendix cancer is sometimes called appendiceal cancer. It occurs when healthy cells become abnormal and grow rapidly.

Appendix cancer Causes and risk factors

Risk of appendix cancer may vary,  lifestyle habits, age, medical history and other factors.There is few factors we can consider as risk factor are as follow:

Age: The average age at diagnosis is between 4o to 6o years

Gender: Women are more likely to develop carcinoid tumors than men.

Smoking: Smokers are more likely to develop appendix cancer than non-smokers.

Family history :Having a family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1(MEN1) syndrome, a disorder also called endocrine adenomatosis and Wermer syndrome

Medical History: atrophic gastritis, pernicious anemia and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome which can increased risk for  developing the appendix cancer.

Appendix Cancer Symptoms

appendix cancer doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. Symptoms may be different for each person, and any one of them may also indicate other noncancerous conditions.When cancer develops in the appendix, symptoms may include:

  • Appendicitis
  • Ovarian masses
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating  abdomen
  • Changes in bowel function
  • acute or chronic abdominal pain
  • Indigestion
  • hernia
  • vomiting

Appendix Cancer Types

Some appendix tumors are benign, meaning they do not invade and spread. Other tumors are malignant, and thus cancerous, which means they invade and can spread to or from other organs.

The two main types of appendix cancer are called neuroendocrine tumors and carcinomas:

1) Neuroendocrine (carcinoid) tumors (NET)

This is also known as typical carcinoid. In this type, a tumor forms with certain cells from the wall of the bowel.They are most often found in women in their 40s.

2) Carcinomas

It begin in the tissue that lines the appendix. Carcinomas of the appendix include:

  • Mucinous Adenocarcinoma: The second most common type of appendix cancer, mucinous adenocarcinomas begin in the appendix and produce mucin, a jelly-like substance that tends to spread cancerous cells to other parts of the body. These tumors are often discovered after they have spread (metastasized) to the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity).
  • Goblet cell Carcinoids : Also known as an adenoneuroendocrine tumor, this type of tumor has similar characteristics to both a neuroendocrine tumor and an adenocarcinoma. A goblet cell carcinoma may spread to other organs and tends to be more aggressive than a neuroendocrine tumor.
  • Intestinal-type Adenocarcinoma:  It is also called colonic-type adenocarcinoma they usually start at the base of the appendix when originating in this organ. They can spread to other organs and areas of the body.
  • Signet-ring cell Adenocarcinoma: A very rare but aggressive type of appendix cancer, this type of tumor typically occurs in the stomach or colon. When it develops in the appendix, it often causes appendicitis.

Diagnosis of Appendix Cancer

Doctors diagnose many appendix cancers after a person has had appendicitis surgery or when the tumor spreads to other organs, causing symptoms

Blood and urine test :

It  may be used for diagnosing appendix cancer.

Imaging test

1) Ultrasound

It is is a non-invasive diagnostic technique used to image inside the body

2) CT Scan

It helps provide detailed information about the size, shape and position of tumors in or around the appendix.A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging test that uses a computer to put a series of x-ray images together to create detailed 3D images of organs, tissues, bones and blood vessels in the body.

3) MRI Scan

MRI help to find differnts between normal and diseased tissue. A mgnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging test that uses powerful magnetic forces, radio frequency (RF) waves and a computer to make detailed 3-dimensional pictures of the organs, bones and tissues inside your body.

4)PET scan

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan uses radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals to look for changes in the metabolic activity of body tissues. A computer analyzes the radioactive patterns and makes 3-D colour images of the area being scanned. PET scan may be used to:

  • help find out if a tumour is more likely to be cancerous or non-cancerous
  • check for small groups of cancer cells
  • find out if cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Appendix Cancer Treatments


Appendix cancer is primarily treated with surgery. The type of surgical procedure performed varies depending on the type and location of the tumor,


Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In general, normal cells grow and die in a controlled way. Cancer cells keep growing without control. It stopping them from spreading, or slowing their growth.

Chemotherapy is often used along with radiation therapy and surgery  in treating cancers. It may be used before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that remain and to prevent the cancer from coming back. Chemotherapy may also be used to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life and extend life for people with advanced cancer

Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells, but they can also damage healthy cells.Some common side effects are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, and hair loss.

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