Appendix Cancer – Symptoms, Survival Rate, Prognosis, Treatment,

What is Appendix Cancer?

A cancer is a type of disease where there are developments of abnormal cells in the body that invade and kill the normal cells and they replicate more and faster without control. It also have the ability to invade other organs or nearby tissue thus affecting the health of the individual. Appendix cancer is a rare type of cancer where the abnormal cells invade the appendix and it forms a tissue called tumor.

Anatomy of the Appendix picture

Anatomy of the Appendix

Signs and Symptoms of Appendix Cancer

Appendix Cancer pics

Appendix cancer doesn’t usually manifest signs and symptoms at early stage; usually it will be felt once the cancer is in the advance stage or where in the cancer spread to other tissues. This signs and symptoms will vary on the person who has this kind of disease. The signs and symptoms are:

  • Patient will experience pain in the side that usually misdiagnosed as having appendicitis. During surgery usually the appendix cancer is discovered.
  • The patient will notice an increase in abdominal size or they usually look swollen. This abdominal swelling that the patient experience might be because there might be a formation og hernia and because of bowel obstruction.
  • There is also a sign of pelvic pain and discomfort.
  • Bowel obstruction or discomfort is also noticed by the patient.
  • Abdominal pain that the patient experience maybe due to infection, inflammation, trauma, and obstruction.
  • Abdominal discomfort because the abdomen is swollen.
  • Formation of ascites or formation of fluid in the abdomen

Risk Factors and Causes of Appendix Cancer

  1. The Cause of Appendix Cancer is still unknown and there are no known specific Risk Factors that are identified for this disease.
  2. Age is the only one identified that can affect in formation of this rare type of cancer. Usually people who are 40 years old and above is affected.

Diagnosis for Appendix Cancer

Medical professionals will use different ways to detect appendix cancer as well as if the cancer already spread in other organs in the abdomen as well as outside the abdominal area. Some test will determine if the treatment became effective to the person or not.

  1. Family and Medical history including the age and lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking.
  2. Physical examination if there is any medical condition that might affect in diagnosing the cancer in the appendix.
  3. Urine and blood samples to determine if there is any infection that is present as well as to check abnormalities in the blood and urine of the person.
  4. Biopsy is a medical type of test done by the medical professionals where they will get sample tissue used for examination. The sample that is removed is checked through a microscope and it helps to determine any present diseases.
  5. Computed Tomography Scan (CT scan) is a type of x-ray that can provide sharper and detailed images of the lungs. It combines a series of x-ray views with different angles that produce cross-sectional images of bones and tissues inside the body.
  6. MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is also like the CT scan that helps the professionals to detect any formation and abnormal growth in the body but it’s clearer because it uses a dye to see images more clearly.
  7. Ultrasound that can also help in viewing internal organs and determine any abnormal tissues.
  8. PET Scan or Positive Emission Tomography is like a CT scan that can determine any abnormalities inside the body but this machine can also tell if the body reacts well to the treatments given.
  9. Radionuclide Scanner it is a small radioactive substance that is injected to the vein of the person that will help medical professionals detect the spread of cancer. A special type of camera is used to show where the injected radioactive substance accumulates.

Treatment for Appendix Cancer

Treatment for this type of cancer depends on the stage of cancer that is present in the body. These two treatments that are commonly used in treating this disease are:

  • Surgery is the most common and main treatment for Appendix Cancer. It is where a certain part will be removed because it already is affected. The common surgeries done in a patient are:
  • Appendectomy – is a type of surgery that will remove the appendix. It is normally done if the tumor caused by appendix cancer is less than 1.5cm.
  • Hemicolectomy –is a type of surgery done to patient that has a tumor caused by the appendix cancer is larger than 2cm. The procedure done in this type of surgery is to remove a part of colon that is located next to appendix.
  • Cytoreducation Surgery – is a type of surgery where the doctors remove the accumulated fluid or mucous in the stomach of the patient. This procedure is usually followed by a procedure called chemotherapy because in this type of surgery not all cancer cells removed and it relieved patient’s sign and symptoms of bloating.
  • Chemotherapy is a procedure that is done usually after surgery to eliminate possible cancer cells that are not removed in surgery. There are two types of chemotherapy done to patients with Appendix Cancer. These are:
  • Local Chemotherapy – this type of chemotherapy focused in one section of the body and it’s the common type of chemotherapy used in this disease. The medical professionals normally removed first the accumulated fluid inside the patient stomach before doing this procedure for the chemotherapy to become effective. A tube is inserted after cytoreduction surgery to deliver the chemotherapy procedure. Normally it is done once.
  • Systemic Chemotherapy – is a type of chemotherapy procedure where it is delivered to the bloodstream of the patient to reach cancer cells that has scattered in the body. This type of chemotherapy nerds many cycles and the effect of this type of therapy depends on person and the dose given to them. This includes of the patient experiencing fatigue, nausea and vomiting and loss of appetite but this symptom subsides eventually after the treatment.
  • Radiation Therapy is a type of therapy used in patients using high-energy x-rays to kill the cancer cells that are present in the body. This type of therapy is not common type of treatment for patients with appendix cancer. This type of therapy is delivered in many cycles. It is used to kill cancer cells without affecting the tissues that surrounds by the cancer cells, it can also used as a treatment to reduce size of tumors, reduce the pain that the patient experiencing.

Prognosis and Survival Rate for Appendix Cancer

  • The outcome of the treatment of Appendix Cancer depends on the stage of the cancer that is present.
  • The early that is detected and the tumor is only below than 2cm and it doesn’t affect other lymph nodes as well as other organs the survival rate is higher than those tumor that is greater that 2cm and it affects other lymph nodes as well as body organs.
  • Attitude of the patient is also consider because it depends on how that person is willing to participate in curing the disease like by having regular chemotherapy and the medications given are always followed.

Staging for Appendix Cancer

  • Stage 0: this type of cancer is referred as Carcinoma in Situ. It means that the cancer tumor doesn’t spread to other organs and it remains in one place.
  • Stage 1: the tumor cancer spread in the nearby tissues in the appendix but it doesn’t affect other organs.
  • Stage 2a: the cancer spread in the nearby tissues and also affects the fatty tissue that is near in the appendix but doesn’t affect the local lymph nodes and other body organs.
  • Stage 2b: the cancer already affects the lining of the appendix but still doesn’t affect local lymph nodes and other body organs.
  • Stage 2c: there is a visible formation of tumor in the nearby tissues like colon or rectum but still it doesn’t affect local lymph nodes and other body organs.
  • Stage 3a: the cancer already spread into the internal layer of appendix and affect at least 1 to 3 lymph nodes but it doesn’t affect other body organs.
  • Stage 3b: the cancer already affects the nearby tissue surrounding the appendix, affect 1 to 3 lymph nodes but it doesn’t affect other body organs.
  • Stage 3c: the cancer already affects more than 3 lymph nodes but doesn’t affect other body organs.
  • Stage 4a: the cancer already affects the other body organs and its more visible compare to the previous stages and there is no lymph node that is affected.
  • Stage 4b: the cancer affects other body organ in the abdomen and affects 4 or more local lymph nodes.
  • Stage 4c: the cancer already spreads in the organs in the abdomen as well they also affect body organs outside the abdominal area like lungs.

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Posted in Cancer, Uncategorized
11 comments on “Appendix Cancer – Symptoms, Survival Rate, Prognosis, Treatment,
  1. John Kuhr says:

    I have apendicile cancer have been told surgery not an option wondering what future has in store for me have minor symptoms at this time some discomfort and at times no apatite my over all health is okay. Told year survival yet don’t know what to expect towards end of this so my me and my family can prepare. I guess basically asking if anyone can let me know how the end will be I would be much appreciated. Thanks

  2. Maria Johnson says:

    My daughter has a blog on appendix cancer. Are you interested?

    • John arrington says:

      Yes my son has just been diagnosed on this. Please help us find more on this

    • Myrna says:

      I would like to hear any info u have

    • Kim says:

      I would also be interested in information. My brother n law was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer of the appendix. Thank you for sharing!

    • Lee Sheldon says:

      My sister had her appendix removed and a colon resectioning after suffering for a year in pain with no diagnosis. There was no evidence the cancer had spread after biopsy’s were done, she lives in constant pain and fear of it coming back somewhere and. Her mortality. She was a hospice nurse before this happened. She is 55 yrs old.any knowledge or advice would be appreciated.

    • Janet says:

      My daughter has just found out she had a low grade tumour on the appendix when it was removed just wanted advice

  3. Deborah Arthur says:

    Yes would like to know what to expect in the last stages of this disease. Diagnosed in 8/2010 and now having digestive problems and cancer is lining all my organs. I have several tumors. I would love to know what to expect.

  4. Bob says:

    I was diagnosed with stage 2b appendix cancer during a colonoscopy in 4/13. I had surgery in 5/13 with an appendectomy and partial removal of a connecting section of my colon. No cancer cells were found in the lymph nodes that were removed. I underwent six months of chemotherapy and all MRIs and PET scans have detected no recurrence of the cancer as of 3/15. It has been like living, waiting for the other shoe to drop, but praise God the news has all been good so far. I returned to work in 2/14 and feel privileged to have the health I do. The exhaustion and weight loss after the surgery and the neuropathy from the chemo have been the only downers. Keep your chin up!

  5. Joe says:

    I have appendical cancer. First diagnose in Jan 2008. Obviously lost my appendix but also 1/3 of my colon. I had cyto-reduction surgery (MOAS – Mother of all surgeries as it is known) twice since then. 2011 & 2013. I have also dealt with chemo & radiation therapies. Recommend the PMP web site and keep a good attitude. I was given a 50/50 chance of survival and I obviously took the high side of 50 since I am still here living a normal life.

  6. Ashley says:

    I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Appendix Cancer on Feb 11, 2012. Please don’t listen to “expiration dates”! 😉 If you are on Facebook look up Appendix Cancer Survivor and Caregivers and ask to be added as a memeber. It is a closed group so we are able to ask each other questions without the rest of the Facebook world knowing what we are saying. There are TONS of resources as well as names of appendix cancer expert surgeons/oncologists. First and foremost you MUST find an expert on this disease. Just any oncologist can’t give you an accurate diagnosis or prognosis. In 2013 I was given 6 months to live and only a 25% chance of a different type of chemo working on me. Well, here I am!! Please do NOT give up hope!! Check out the Facebook page especially the tabs at the top of the web page. You may be surprised to find someone who lives close to you that is going through similar issues!! Good luck and as we say “JKG” (Just Keep Going!) God Bless and I’m keeping y’all in my prayers!!! ((Hugs))

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