Usually, appendix cancer does not produce symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage and has spread to another part of the body. Additionally, there are currently no screening tests that are reliable enough to be routinely used as a preventive measure for individuals who do not have symptoms. Because appendix cancer outcomes can be improved with early detection, it is important to recognize possible signs and seek prompt medical attention if any of those signs occur.
What are some common symptoms of appendix cancer?
Appendix cancer symptoms often mimic the signs of acute appendicitis, but they can also vary significantly from person to person. Some possible signs include:
- Bloating or abdominal distention
- Severe or persistent abdominal pain
- Vague pain in the lower right abdomen
- A change in bowel habits
- Early satiety (feeling of fullness) when eating
- Unexplained weight loss
- General fatigue
- Flushing, shortness of breath, diarrhea or heart valve disease on the right side (carcinoid syndrome) if the cancer spreads to the liver
If any of these symptoms develop, it’s important to consult with an experienced medical professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment. For this type of highly specialized expertise, many patients turn to the specialists in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. As a high-volume cancer center, we have experience in treating even very rare types of cancer, such as appendiceal cancer. At Moffitt, each patient receives a treatment plan that is precisely focused on the unique characteristics of his or her appendix cancer – an approach which results in more effective treatment, better survival rates and enhanced quality of life.