Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of Appendix Cancer

Appendix cancer may not cause any symptoms in the early stages. Also, in most cases, appendix cancer is diagnosed when the organ is removed, assuming the patient has appendicitis.

Becoming aware of the different signs and symptoms of appendix cancer can help one receive the right care at the right time.

Who is Mainly Affected by Appendix Cancer?

Appendix cancer may affect any person of any age. However, it is observed that increasing age is an important risk factor for appendix cancer. Individuals aged 50 and above are mainly affected by appendix cancer. Women are at greater risk of developing appendix cancer than men. Appendix cancer is relatively more common in people who smoke and use tobacco products than in those who do not. Further, people with underlying medical conditions, such as pernicious anemia, atrophic gastritis, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, are more vulnerable to appendix cancer. Further, appendix cancer may also occur in people with a family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1).

What are the Symptoms of Appendix Cancer?

Signs and symptoms of appendix cancer are:

Appendix Cancer Type and its Symptoms

Most Common Appendix Cancer Causes

Appendix cancer causes are:


The symptoms of appendix cancer include appendicitis, change in bowel habits, abdominal pain, palpable abdominal mass, accumulation of fluid, pelvic pain, and fertility problems. The possible appendix cancer causes include smoking, the use of tobacco, and underlying medical conditions such as atrophic gastritis, pernicious anemia, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Women and older adults are at enhanced risk of developing appendix cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, appendix cancer is rare. It generally affects 1–2 people per 1 million people. Although it commonly affects older adults, there has been a reduction in the age of diagnosis in the past decade.

There are several types of appendix cancer. Some of them, such as carcinoid tumors, grow at a slower rate, while others are aggressive or have a faster growth rate, namely signet ring cell adenocarcinoma.

Signet-ring cell adenocarcinoma is considered the most aggressive appendix cancer.

Several cells are present in the appendix. Each cell has its own rate of division. However, various factors, such as smoking, underlying medical conditions, family history of certain diseases, and age, cause mutations in these cells, thereby altering the rate of division. These cells then divide uncontrollably, leading to appendix cancer.

Appendix cancer has the potential to invade other organs. The symptoms of recurrence depend upon the site of recurrence. It may recur in the appendix, liver, or lungs.

Studies have reported a genetic link to appendix cancer. People with a family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) syndrome or appendix cancer are more vulnerable to developing appendix cancer.

Consumption of alcohol and tobacco, family history, certain medical conditions, obesity, and radiation exposure are identified as some of the potential appendix cancer causes.