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Appendix Cancer Treatment

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.

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.

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.

Surgery

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 chemotherapy (HIPEC), 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

Treatment at MD Anderson

Appendix cancer is treated in our Gastrointestinal Center.

Clinical Trials

MD Anderson patients have access to clinical trials offering promising new treatments that cannot be
found anywhere else.

Knowledge Center

Find the latest news and information about appendix cancer in our Knowledge Center, including blog posts, articles, videos, news releases and more.

Counseling

MD Anderson has licensed social workers to help patients and their loved ones cope with cancer.

myCancerConnection

Talk to someone who shares your cancer diagnosis and be matched with a survivor.

Prevention and Screening

Many cancers can be prevented with lifestyle changes and regular screening.