Appendix Cancer

In this article, you’ll read some basic information about appendix cancer and how it affects the other parts of the body. It is very important for us to know about this disease and its effects on other parts of the body, how it is diagnosed and what are the safeties measures taken to predict this disease.

Appendix is the pouch-like tube attached to the cecum, this is the first section of the large intestine. The average length of appendix tube is 10 centimeter. It is very important part of the gastrointestinal tract. Though appendix doesn’t have significant functioning in the body it is the important part of a lymphatic, exocrine or endocrine system. This appendix cancer can occur when your healthy cells change and grow out of control in your appendix. These cells from the growth of the tissue are called as the tumor. This appendix tumor can be either cancerous or benign. This tumor is either malignant or benign i.e. it can grow and spread rapidly to the other parts of the body. the other name of this cancer is Appendiceal Cancer. While benign tumor can grow but it will not spread to other parts of the body.

Types of appendix tumor

There are different types of appendix tumor:

Carcinoid tumor– this tumor starts in the hormone-producing cells present in small amount in every organ in the body. This tumor generally starts in the gastrointestinal tract or in the lungs. Even it can occur in the pancreas or in the testicles of the man or in the ovaries of the woman. Most often it occurs in the tip of the appendix. Almost half percentage of the appendix tumors are carcinoid tumors. This cancer usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until it spread to the other organs. It is highly unnoticed through symptoms until it is found during other examination.

Appendiceal mucoceles– mucoceles are the swelling of the sac from the appendix wall and it is filled with mucous. There is a range of benign to the malignant condition and this can occur in the appendix to form the mucocele. The two conditions are mucinous cystadenomas and mucinous cystadenocarcinomas (pseudomyxoma peritonei) . mucinous cystadenomas are the benign type of the appendix tumor and it will not spread and this is similar to the adenomatous polyps that can develop in the colon. In this stage, the appendix is completely removed through surgery. But if the appendix ruptures the cells can easily spread in the body cavity and it begins to secrete the jelly-like substance in the abdomen called mucin. The secretion of mucin leads to the abdominal pain, changes in the bowel habit including bowel obstruction or blockage and bloating. mucinous cystadenocarcinomas also have same effects with the mucin in the abdomen but they are malignant, means they can spread to the other parts of the body.

Colonic-type adenocarcinoma– this accounts about 10 percent of the appendix tumor and this usually occurs at the appendix base. This cancer behaves like a most common type of colorectal cancer. This usually goes unnoticed and diagnosis of this cancer frequently made during or after surgery of the abdominal pain or swelling, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, low fever that begins after the other symptoms or inability to pass the gas.

Signet-ring cell adenocarcinoma-this is a very rare type of appendix tumor and it is considered as very aggressive and difficult to treat when compared to the other type of adenocarcinoma. This cancer usually occurs in the stomach or colon and it causes appendicitis in the appendix. It is called as signet-ring cell adenocarcinoma because when it is viewed at microscope it looks like the signet ring.

Goblet cell carcinomas/adenocarcinomas– this has the features of both adenocarcinomas and carcinoid tumors. This is most aggressive than the carcinoid tumors and the treatment of this disease is similar to adenocarcinoma.

Paraganglimo– this is the rare type of tumor developed from the cells of the paraganglia, this is the collection of cells that come from the nerve tissue and that continues as a small deposit after fetal development (pre-birth). This is often found near the adrenal glands and some of them in the blood vessels and in the nerves including head and neck regions. This is usually considered as the benign tumor and it is treated successfully through a complete surgical removal of a tumor.

Appendix cancer risk factors

The risk factor is anything that will increase the person’s chance of developing him or her as a cancer man or cancer woman. In some cases, the risk factors often influence the development of cancer but most do not cause cancer directly. In many cases, the people will experience several risk factors but they never develop cancer while others even with no risk factors they develop cancer. However knowing the risk factors and having knowledge about it is very important for us, this will help you to make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

The actual cause of the appendix cancer is still unknown and there are no any avoidable risk factors that have been identified. The following factor may develop the risk of developing the appendix cancer.

Age– the only consistent risk factor for different types of appendix cancer is increasing in age. Appendix cancer is very rare in children.

Appendix cancer symptoms

People with appendix cancer may experience the following symptoms:

  • Appendicitis
  • Ascites, which is fluid in the abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Pain in the abdomen or pelvis area
  • Increased size of the waistline, with or without protrusion of the navel
  • Changes in the bowel function
  • Infertility, inability to have child

If you experience any of the above symptoms immediately talk to your doctor and take the preventive measures.