Appendix cancer is a rare form of cancer that originates in the appendix, a small, pouch-like organ attached to the large intestine. The appendix has no well-defined function in the human body.
The exact causes of appendix cancer are not well understood. Like many cancers, it's believed to result from genetic mutations that lead to uncontrolled cell growth and the development of tumors.
The diagnosis of appendix cancer is carried out by a team of specialists, including radiologists, pathologists, and oncologists.
Diagnosis often involves imaging tests (such as CT scans), biopsies (taking a small tissue sample for examination), and pathology analysis to determine the type and stage of the cancer.
Surgical oncologists are primarily responsible for treating appendix cancer. Surgical oncology is a specialized field of surgery that focuses on the surgical management of various cancers. Treatment for appendix cancer usually involves surgery to remove the tumor.
Different types of surgeries may be performed :
This involves the removal of the appendix itself if the cancer is localized to the organ. It's a common initial procedure for early-stage appendix cancer.
If the cancer has spread beyond the appendix, a hemicolectomy might be recommended. This surgery involves removing a portion of the colon along with the appendix to ensure complete removal of the cancer and any potential spread.
3. Debulking Surgery
In cases where the tumor is more extensive, debulking surgery may be performed. This involves removing as much of the tumor as possible from the abdomen. It's often followed by other treatments like chemotherapy to target any remaining cancer cells.
After the surgical intervention, the patient's treatment plan may also include chemotherapy or other targeted therapies to eliminate any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence.
In summary, a surgical oncologist is a specialist who diagnoses and treats appendix cancer, primarily through surgery and in collaboration with other medical professionals to provide comprehensive care.