Types of Appendix Cancer

Posted on: August 15, 2015

Appendix cancer is rare, effecting only about 0.5% of colorectal cancers. There are a variety of tumors that can start in the appendix, including: Carcinoid tumor– An appendix carcinoid tumor most often occurs at the tip of the appendix. Approximately 66% of all appendix tumors are carcinoid tumors. This type of cancer usually causes no symptoms until it has spread to other organs, and often goes unnoticed until it is found during an examination or procedure performed for another reason. Colonic-type AdenocarcinomaColonic-type adenocarcinoma accounts for approximately 10% of appendix tumors and usually occurs at the base of the appendix. This type of tumor looks and behaves similarly to the most common type of colorectal cancer. It often goes unnoticed, and diagnosis is frequently made during or after surgery for appendicitis. Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma– Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma is the most common non-carcinoid appendix tumor and accounts for approximately 20% of appendix cancer cases. This type of tumor produces a jelly-like substance called mucin that fills the abdominal cavity and can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel function. Paraganglioma Paraganglioma is a rare tumor that develops from cells of the paraganglia, a collection of cells that come from nerve tissue that remains in small deposits after fetal (pre-birth) development, and is found near the adrenal glands and some blood vessels and nerves. This type of tumor is usually considered benign and is often successfully treated with the complete surgical removal of the tumor. Paraganglioma is very rare outside of the head and neck region. Signet-ring cell Adenocarcinoma– Signet-ring cell adenocarcinoma (so called because under the microscope, the cell looks like it has a signet ring inside it) is very rare and considered to be more aggressive and more difficult to treat than other types of adenocarcinomas. This type of tumor usually occurs in the stomach or colon, and can cause appendicitis when it develops in the appendix. To learn more about appendix cancer risk factors and appendix cancer symptoms, visit our Appendix Cancer page. Tags: