February 23, 2023
Appendix cancer, also known as appendix mesothelioma, is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the appendix, a small tube-like structure attached to the large intestine. It is a type of cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that lines the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium. Appendix cancer is rare, with an estimated 2,000 new cases being reported in the United States annually.
There are several types of appendix cancer, including:
Adenocarcinoma: This is the most common type of appendix cancer characterized by the presence of glandular cells in the tumor.
Sarcomatoid carcinoma: It is more aggressive and is characterized by the presence of spindle-shaped cells in the tumor.
Mixed-type carcinoma: This type of appendix cancer contains both glandular and spindle-shaped cells.
Carcinoid tumor: It is a slow-growing type of appendix cancer characterized by the presence of neuroendocrine cells in the tumor.
Mucinous adenocarcinoma: A type of appendix cancer that is characterized by the presence of mucus-producing cells in the tumor.
The following are the most common risk factors that may increase a person's risk of developing appendix cancer:
Age: Appendix cancer is more common in people over the age of 60.
Family history: People with a family history of mesothelioma or other types of cancer may be at an increased risk of developing appendix cancer.
Asbestos exposure: Asbestos is a mineral commonly used in construction and other industries. Exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of developing mesothelioma, including appendix cancer.
Gender: Men are more likely to develop appendix cancer than women.
Previous abdominal surgery: People who have undergone abdominal surgery, such as an appendectomy, may be at an increased risk of developing appendix cancer.
It is crucial to note that having one or more of these risk factors does not necessarily mean a person will develop appendix cancer. Many people with these risk factors may never develop the disease.
The signs and symptoms of appendix cancer may vary depending on the stage of the disease. Some common signs and symptoms of early-stage appendix cancer are as follows:
If cancer has already metastasized and is in an advanced stage, a few additional symptoms can be visible.
These symptoms may also be caused by other conditions and not everyone with appendix cancer will experience all these symptoms. If someone is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is wise to speak with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
To diagnose appendix cancer, a healthcare provider may perform a variety of tests, primarily blood tests and imaging tests. Blood tests can help detect cancer cells in the body and determine the type of cancer. On the other hand, imaging tests, such as CT scans, MRI scans, and PET scans, can be used to create detailed pictures of the inside of the body to help identify the presence of cancer.
Being the most common treatment for appendix cancer, surgery can be a permanent and effective treatment for appendix cancer if it has not metastasized. Depending on the stage of cancer and where the tumor is located, different types of surgery may be performed. The two most common types of surgery are appendectomy and cytoreduction surgery. Appendectomy involves the removal of the appendix, but cytoreduction involves removing as many cancer cells as possible.
Another surgical procedure is Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) in which chemotherapy is delivered directly to the abdomen during surgery.
This is a common treatment method for cancer that involves the use of medications to kill cancer cells and it may be used along with surgery or as a standalone treatment. Chemotherapy may be administered orally or intravenously. Some common chemotherapy drugs used to treat appendix cancer include cisplatin, doxorubicin, paclitaxel, etc.
In radiation therapy, doctors use high-energy beams to kill cancer cells and this procedure is often used along with surgical procedures. The two main types of radiation therapy used in treating appendix cancer are- external beam radiation and internal radiation therapy. External beam radiation is delivered to the body from a machine outside the body. In contrast, internal radiation therapy involves placing a radioactive substance inside the body near the cancer cells.
Clinical trials are research studies where cancer fighters enroll themselves as per doctor’s recommendation to evaluate new cancer treatments. Participation in a clinical trial may provide access to experimental treatments that are not yet widely available. Clinical trials are an important part of cancer research and help to advance medical knowledge and improve cancer treatments.
The recurrence rate for appendix cancer is difficult to determine, as the disease is rare and there is limited data available. However, it is not uncommon for appendix cancer to recur after treatment, particularly in cases where cancer has spread beyond the appendix.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the 5-year relative survival rate for appendix cancer is 82%. This means that 82% of people diagnosed with appendix cancer in the United States are expected to live at least 5 years after diagnosis. In addition, recurrence rates for appendix cancer are relatively high. Studies have found that the 5-year recurrence rate is between 40-50%, and the 10-year recurrence rate is between 60-70%.
The survival rate for appendix cancer may be higher if the cancer is diagnosed in the early stages and if cancer has not spread beyond the appendix.
There is no sure way to prevent appendix cancer, as the exact cause of the disease is not fully understood. However, avoiding exposure to known risk factors, such as asbestos, may help to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
Early detection is key to the successful treatment of any type of cancer, including appendix cancer. The sooner cancer is detected, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful. Regular check-ups and screenings can help identify cancer early when it is most treatable. If you have any risk factors for appendix cancer or are experiencing any symptoms, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider for proper evaluation and diagnosis. To get personalized treatment plans and cancer care from one of the best cancer treatment clinics in Florida, contact ACTC and schedule an appointment.
*Click on the link for the data related to severity of Appendix Cancer in the United States.