Appendicular cancer occurs when cells in the appendix become abnormal and keep growing and form a mass or lump called a tumour. The type of cancer is defined by the particular cells that are affected and can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Malignant tumours have the potential to spread to other parts of the body through the blood stream or lymph vessels and form another tumour at a new site. This new tumour is known as secondary cancer or metastasis.
Appendix cancer may not cause symptoms in its early stages. However, some people may experience symptoms such as:
Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) is a rare tumour that grows slowly and causes a build-up of mucin (a jelly-like substance) in the abdomen and pelvis, giving rise to the name “jelly belly”. Several other diseases may also be associated with “jelly belly” including mucinous adenocarcinoma, or may resemble features of PMP including mucinous tumours in the bowel.
PMP often starts in the appendix but can also start in other organs such as the large bowel and ovary. While it doesn’t spread to other parts of the body, PMP can put pressure on important organs as it continues to grow and this may cause problems.
Surgery is the main treatment for appendix cancer, especially for people with early-stage disease who are otherwise in good health. The type of operation depends on the location and stage of the tumour.
PMP is usually treated with surgery: either cytoreductive surgery followed by chemotherapy (HIPEC) when aiming to cure PMP, or if the cancer cannot be treated effectively debulking surgery may be used instead to remove as much of the tumour as possible to reduce symptoms. Debulking surgery may be done again if the tumour grows back.
For further more details, Contact Dr.S.Ayyappan has specialised in Peritoneal Surface Malignancies performed many number of Cytoreductive and HIPEC Surgeries for diseases which are considered as inoperable.