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Appendix cancer

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Appendix cancer is a complex disease. Our experts are here to help.

Cancer of the appendix—a four-inch pouch attached to the first section of the large bowel, known as the cecum—is rare, affecting about 1,000 people in the United States each year. It develops when cells in the appendix mutate—change and multiply out of control—forming a tumor. In the early stages, appendix cancer may not cause symptoms and is often found during surgery for another condition. Treatment options depend on the size, type and stage of the tumor, as well as the patient’s general health. Larger tumors are more likely to require aggressive treatment. When confined to the appendix, this cancer type may have better outcomes.

What you should know after an appendix cancer diagnosis

Treatment options

female patient receiving intravenous (IV) fluid from female nurse

Surgery is the most common treatment for appendix cancer, though specific procedures depend on each patient’s unique situation. Patients commonly receive chemotherapy following surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells.

Surgery
A variety of surgical procedures are used to treat appendix cancer, depending on the type and stage of the tumor.

Chemotherapy
Post-surgery chemotherapy may be recommended when cancer has spread beyond the appendix and to help prevent cancer cells from returning.

Learn more about treatments for appendix cancer

​Supportive care

Our integrative approach means attacking cancer with evidence-based medical treatments while also helping patients manage the physical and psychological side effects of cancer treatment. For appendix cancer patients, these side effects may include appetite loss, fatigue and nausea. Services available to appendix patients include:

rehabilitation

​Oncology rehabilitation

​Oncology rehabilitation includes a wide range of therapies designed to help you build strength and endurance.

accupuncture

​Pain management

Pain management is a branch of medicine focused on reducing pain and improving quality of life through an integrative approach to care.

nutrition

​Nutritional support

Every patient has the option of meeting with a registered dietitian.

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