Appendiceal Neoplasms

Vector illustration of a with detail of an appendicitis

Appendiceal neoplasms (tumors of the appendix) are uncommon growths in the digestive tract. They affect the appendix, which is located in the lower right area of the abdomen. Though rare, these tumors are generally a form of carcinoma (the most common type of colorectal cancer) or neuroendocrine tumors (cancer of nerve-like cells or glands).

Causes of appendiceal neoplasms

Though doctors do not know the cause of appendiceal neoplasms, risk factors include:

  • Being female
  • Being older
Symptoms of appendiceal neoplasms

Many people with these tumors don’t experience any symptoms. Often surgeons only diagnose appendiceal neoplasms after you undergo a routine appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix). If the growth has become swollen or has torn through the wall of the appendix, you may experience symptoms similar to having appendicitis, such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
Surgical treatment for appendiceal neoplasms
Standard treatment for these tumors consists of an appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix or removal of the entire right side of the colon, which includes the appendix). Your surgeon will decide on treatment based on the type of tumor and whether it has torn other tissue and spread into the surrounding abdomen. Depending on the growth, your surgeon may also recommend a surgical procedure called HIPEC (chemotherapy administered inside the abdomen while under sedation) as follow-up therapy.

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