Appendiceal Cancer Diagnosed and Treated by Leading Cancer Doctors in Baltimore

Appendiceal cancer (cancer of the appendix) is an uncommon cancer, but it can be very serious. Mercy's cancer surgeons and medical oncologists work in collaboration to treat appendiceal cancer, even in its most advanced stage.  

About Appendiceal Cancer

Appendiceal cancer, also known as appendix cancer, is considered a rare cancer. Appendix cancer is found in the gastrointestinal (GI) system or the digestive system. It is often discovered during a computerized tomography (CT) scan or during surgery for an unrelated condition. Appendix tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) and are classified by the types of cells in the tumor.

Appendiceal (Appendix) Cancer Types

There are several types of appendiceal cancer. The most common types include:

  • Carcinoid tumors – small tumors that can be treated successfully and are found more often found in women around the age of 40
  • Non-carcinoid tumors – found inside the appendix and produces mucin, a “jelly” like substance, that tends to spread
  • Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) – tumor cells that create a mucinous substance and may spread over time to other organs within the abdominal cavity
  • Adenocarcinoid tumors – are similar to carcinoid tumors and are often found in patients that are over 50 years old
Symptoms & Diagnosis

Appendiceal cancer symptoms are not often noticed until the cancer has reached an advanced stage. Some of the symptoms may include:

  • Appendicitis
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating feeling, especially after eating
  • Complicated bowel movement
  • Pain in the abdomen, lower right side
  • Indigestion
  • Reflux
  • Vomiting

The diagnosis of appendiceal cancer typically occurs when treating a patient for another medical condition, often appendicitis. After an appendiceal cancer diagnosis, additional tests and exams take place to find out the size of the cancer. This is called staging.

Treatment Options for Appendiceal Cancer

Treatment options for appendiceal cancer depend on several factors. The type of cancer, overall health of the patient and stage of the cancer help determine the best possible treatment option. Common treatment options are chemotherapy and surgery. Radiation therapy is rarely used to treat appendix cancer.

If the cancer has spread beyond the appendix, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) may be administered after the tumors have been removed. Mercy’s surgical oncologists are leading experts in using HIPEC to treat patients whose cancer has spread to the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity.

The Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy offers treatment for a wide range of cancers, relying on advanced technologies, compassionate care, leading edge research, clinical trials, and demonstrated medical expertise to provide some of the best treatment options available to fight cancer and restore hope and vitality.