Even though it is rare, appendix cancer can develop into a serious medical problem if it is not promptly treated. Speaking with experts at the top cancer hospitals in India, it is understood that early diagnosis can help to cure the disease. The vermiform appendix, a tiny, pouch-like organ situated at the intersection of the small and large intestines, is affected by this cancer. Despite the fact that this may represent a minor portion of total cancer occurrences, it is important to comprehend the signs, types, causes, and diagnosis. There are efficient treatments available at the best cancer treatment hospitals in India.
Let’s find out more about this particular form of cancer
Symptoms of Appendix Cancer
Appendix cancer may initially present with vague symptoms, making it challenging to diagnose in the early stages. Common symptoms of appendix cancer are as follows-
- Abdominal pain: Persistent, dull pain in the lower right abdomen is a common sign of appendix cancer. However, it can often be mistaken for symptoms of appendicitis.
- Unexplained weight loss: Sudden and unintentional weight loss without an apparent reason can be indicative of an underlying health issue, including appendix cancer.
- Changes in bowel habits: Appendix cancer can cause changes in bowel movements, such as diarrhea, constipation, or changes in stool consistency.
- Abdominal swelling or mass: As the tumor grows, it may cause abdominal swelling or a palpable mass that can be felt during a physical examination.
- Fatigue and weakness: Persistent fatigue and weakness, even without strenuous activity, could be linked to advanced appendix cancer.
Types of Appendix Cancer
Appendix cancer is a broad term that includes the following types –
Carcinoid tumors: These tumors are slow-growing neuroendocrine tumors that arise from the neuroendocrine cells of the appendix. They are mostly the cause of appendix cancer cases. They are generally diagnosed through an appendectomy.
Mucinous adenocarcinoma: This type of cancer arises from the mucus-producing cells of the appendix. It generally gets aggressive and can spread to nearby organs and tissues.
Goblet cell carcinoid: This is a rare but aggressive form of appendix cancer. It is a combination of carcinoid and adenocarcinoma features.
Causes of Appendix Cancer
The exact cause of appendix cancer remains unclear, and research on this rare condition is limited. However, certain factors may increase the risk of developing appendix cancer which is listed as follows –
- A family history of appendix cancer or certain genetic disorders may, in some situations, increase the risk of acquiring the disease.
- People who have experienced recurrent or chronic appendicitis may be somewhat more likely to get appendix cancer.
- Older adults, typically between the ages of 30 and 60, are more likely to get appendix cancer.
- Both men and women are susceptible.
Diagnosis of Appendix Cancer
Diagnosing appendix cancer can be challenging due to its rarity and nonspecific symptoms. However, the following diagnostic tools can aid in the identification of the condition-
- Imaging tests: Ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI may be used to see the appendix and detect any abnormalities or masses.
- Blood tests: Specific tumor markers, such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and CA 19-9, may be measured in the blood to assess for the presence of cancer.
- Biopsy: A tissue sample from the appendix is collected through an appendectomy. It is then examined to understand the type and stage of the cancer.
- Exploratory surgery: Here, is a situation when cancer is suspected but not confirmed. It is done by examining the abdominal cavity.
Appendix cancer, though rare, is a serious health concern that necessitates awareness and early detection for better treatment outcomes. Understanding its symptoms, types, causes, and diagnosis can help healthcare professionals and patients alike in recognizing potential warning signs and seeking timely medical attention. If you or someone you know experiences persistent abdominal discomfort, do not hesitate to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and care.Cancer Treatment