Skip to Content

Appendix Cancer Treatment

Our Treatment Approach

Surgeon Paul Mansfield, M.D., prepares to treat an appendix cancer patient with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, also known as HIPEC or "hot chemo." This treatment involves bathing the abdominal cavity with heated chemotherapy drugs to kill microscopic tumors.

MD Anderson customizes your appendix cancer care to ensure the most advanced treatment with the least impact on your body. As one of the nation’s most active cancer centers, we see more patients with this complex type of cancer than most others. This gives us an extraordinary level of expertise and experience.

Surgery is often the main treatment for appendix cancer, and the surgeon’s skill is particularly important to the success of the procedure. Our renowned surgeons are among the most recognized in the country and perform more appendix cancer procedures in a year than many cancer surgeons do in a lifetime.

If you have been diagnosed with appendix cancer, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Highly skilled surgeons perform the most-advanced procedures to treat appendix cancer
  • Specialized appendix cancer chemotherapy options, including hyperthermic intraperitoneal (HIPEC) chemotherapy
  • More experience with this complex cancer than most oncologists
  • Clinical trials of new therapies for appendix cancer

Appendix Cancer Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Appendix cancer is treated in our:

Find Your MD Anderson Location

Our Appendix Cancer Treatments

If you are diagnosed with appendix cancer, your doctor will discuss the best options to treat it. This depends on several factors, including:

  • The type of tumor
  • Where it is in the appendix
  • If it has spread
  • Your overall health

Your treatment for appendix cancer will be customized to your particular needs. One or more of the following therapies may be recommended to treat the cancer or help relieve symptoms.


This is the main treatment for appendix cancer. Chemotherapy may be used with surgery. The type of surgery depends on the type of appendix cancer.
Carcinoid tumors: Often, surgery is done to remove the appendix, right colon and surrounding lymph nodes. For more information, see Carcinoid Tumors.

Non-carcinoid tumors: If appendix cancer has spread within the abdomen, the most effective approach usually is:

Cytoreductive (tumor debulking) surgery to remove the tumor and mucin in the abdomen. Parts of the intestine, gallbladder, ovaries, uterus and lining of the abdominal cavity may be removed.

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal (HIPEC) chemotherapy, also known as heated chemotherapy, which is performed during tumor debulking surgery. The abdominal cavity is filled with a chemotherapy drug, which is heated to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Your abdomen is rocked gently back and forth for 90 minutes to ensure the drugs go to all areas of the abdominal cavity.

Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP): Surgical removal of the tumor (also called cytoreduction), combined with HIPEC, is usually recommended.

Adenocarcinoid tumors: Treatment may include all the following:

  • Removal of the right part of the colon
  • Cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC
  • Chemotherapy before surgery

Our Clinical Trials

Since MD Anderson is one of the nation’s leading research centers, we’re able to offer clinical trials (research studies) of new treatments for appendix cancers.

To find out more about clinical trials at MD Anderson for appendix cancer, visit our Clinical Trials database or speak to your doctor.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center