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Appendix Cancer - Types, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis

Published on Feb 19, 2021   -  4 min read

Abstract

Appendix cancer is a rare variant of cancer that develops in the appendix. Read this article to know more.

Contents

What Is an Appendix?

An appendix is an organ that is found near the intestine. It is situated in the lower right part of the abdomen. Many researchers say that the appendix is an organ that has no useful function or very few functions. Other medical reports suggest that the appendix plays an important role in maintaining the gut health of the individual. In addition to this, it can also contribute to the functioning of the lymphatic system. It is approximately four inches long and attaches to the intestine. There are higher possibilities for the appendix to get infected and result in a condition called appendicitis.

What Is Appendix Cancer?

Cancer is an abnormal and disastrous growth in any part of the healthy tissue. The tremendous growth might decrease the functioning of the cells. When the abnormal cells outweigh the normal cells, it might result in the formation of the tumor or cancer. It can be benign or malignant according to the cells and tissues involved. A type of cancer that originates in the cells of the appendix is known as appendix cancer. It is also known as appendiceal cancer. It is a very rare type of cancer. Less than 100,000 patients have been reported to have appendix cancer in the United States of America.

What Are the Types of Appendix Cancer?

There are different types of appendix cancer:

What Are the Symptoms of Appendix Cancer?

The symptoms of appendix cancer are:

The malignant form of appendix cancer develops on the surface of the spleen, uterus, liver, ovaries, and peritoneum.

What Are the Risk Factors Associated With Appendix Cancer?

The risk factors associated with appendix cancer are:

How Is Appendix Cancer Diagnosed?

Appendix cancer does not produce any symptoms in the initial stages. It might be accidentally revealed during the imaging session of any other conditions like appendicitis. Sometimes doctors identify appendix cancer after the complete removal of the appendix.

Imaging techniques like MRI, CT, and ultrasound procedures can be helpful. Computed tomography is the most preferred scan for most patients. For more precise images, magnetic resonance imaging is recommended by doctors. Blood tests are mostly not helpful for appendix cancer. In some cases, a biopsy is recommended by the doctor where the sample tissue is collected from the involved site and sent for microscopic diagnosis. Most reliable results can be obtained in this technique.

What Are the Treatment Options for Appendix Cancer?

The treatment is planned according to the following criteria:

If the cancer involvement is seen only in the appendix, then minor surgery is sufficient to cure the condition. If cancer has spread to other regions, then surgery is required to remove the cancerous tissue from that site also. This might commonly include ovaries, peritoneum, and intestine.

The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons suggests a hemicolectomy in which the right half of the colon is removed. This method is preferred if the size of the cancer is more than two centimeters.

How Is the Prognosis for Appendix Cancer?

The prognosis for appendix cancer is predicted by the American Society for Clinical Oncology, where the average age is estimated to be around five years. This estimation of five years is grouped according to the following:

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Last reviewed at:
19 Feb 2021  -  4 min read

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