Appendix cancer history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Soroush Seifirad, M.D.[2]


The majority of patients with appendix cancer are asymptomatic. Patients may complain of vague abdominal pain or discomfort and/or girdle size changes. However, most of them are presenting with acute appendicitis due to obstruction of the appendix by tumor, or present with malignancy complications like pseudomyxoma peritonei; the rest of diagnosed cases are result of serendipitous finding in imaging studies or discovered during laparotomy or laparoscopy because of cancer complications. The patients complains and presentation is influenced by the tumor histology and stage and ranges from a small asymptomatic adenocarcinoma to a metastatic carcinoid tumor with liver metastasis and carcinoid syndrome signs, symptoms and complications.

History and Symptoms

  • The majority of patients with appendix cancer are asymptomatic.


Patients with appendix cancer may have a positive history of:[2]

Common Symptoms

Less Common Symptoms

Around 5% of the patients with appendix carcinoid tumors develop carcinoid syndrome which presents with: [4]


  1. Kelly KJ (2015) Management of Appendix Cancer. Clin Colon Rectal Surg 28 (4):247-55. DOI:10.1055/s-0035-1564433 PMID: 26648795
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chapter 5: Tumours of the Appendix - IARC. Accessed on January 15, 2019
  3. Hardin, M. Acute Appendicitis: Review and Update. Am Fam Physician".1999, Nov 1;60(7):2027-2034
  4. Signs and symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. National Cancer Institute.

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