Diagnosis of Appendix Cancer

Executive Summary

Different tests are being conducted for the diagnosis of appendix cancer. These tests are effective in determining the extent of the spread of cancer cells in the body. Imaging tests are done in the diagnosis of determining the inside images of the abdomen in case of appendix cancer. Depending upon the appendix cancer, such as neuroendocrine or adenocarcinoma tumor and tumor size, diagnostic approach for the same is analyzed. The diagnosis is entirely dependent upon suspicious cancer type, signs and symptoms, age and general condition of previous medical tests results. The physical examination in appendix cancer diagnosis includes biopsy, surgery, and imaging tests such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and radionuclides scanning (OctereoScan, also called DOTATATE Positron emission tomography (PET) scan).

Appendiceal cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages due to its lack of symptoms. Blood or urine tests cannot help to diagnose appendix cancer. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and gather a medical history if you display signs or symptoms that indicate you may have the disease.

Types of tests for diagnosis

He or she will ask questions about your symptoms and illnesses you may have had in the past. You may then be sent for some tests, which may include:

  • Imaging: Imaging tests allow your doctor to see if there is a visible cancer in or around the appendix. Types of imaging tests are:
    • CT scan
    • MRI scan
    • PET scan
  • Scopes: These long tubes with a light and camera on one end allow doctors to look inside your gastrointestinal system for any visible tumors. One common type of test using a scope is:Colonoscopy. A colonoscope is inserted in your rectum and threaded up into the colon. Occasionally, an endoscopist may see a tumor growing out of the appendix into the colon.
  • Biopsy: In this test, a small piece of tissue is removed from a suspicious area and sent to a laboratory to be examined for abnormal or cancerous cells.

The addendum is a pocket like cylinder joined to the cecum, which is the principal part of the internal organ or colon. The index midpoints 10 centimeters (around 4 inches) long. It is viewed as a feature of the gastrointestinal (GI) parcel. By and large idea to have no huge capacity in the body, the supplement might be a piece of the lymphatic, exocrine, or endocrine frameworks.Diagnosing supplement malignant growth as often as possible happens during the therapy of another ailment, clinical testing or medical procedure for an infected appendix cancer. As well as gathering the patient’s clinical history and way of life propensities, like smoking and drinking, specialists may lead different tests for diagnosing addendum malignant growth, including those recorded beneath.

Diagnostic Approach for Appendix Cancer

To identify or for Appendix Cancer Diagnosis, doctors utilize a variety of tests ​1​. They also perform tests to see if cancer has migrated to other parts of the body from where it began. It’s known as metastasis when this happens. Imaging tests, for example, can reveal whether cancer has spread. Imaging test produce images of the inside of the body​2​. Doctors may also conduct tests to determine which treatments are most effective.

For most types of cancer, a biopsy can only help a clinician to tell if a part of the body definitely contains cancer. A biopsy is a procedure in which a doctor removes a small piece of tissue from the patient and tests it in a laboratory.

Incidental diagnosis

However, Appendix cancer is often found unexpectedly during or after abdominal surgery for another reason. If Appendix Cancer is suspected at the time of surgery, the doctor will remove a portion of the colon and surrounding tissue (called a margin) for examination. Often, a patient will have an appendectomy, which is the surgical removal of the appendix. This is usually done for what is first thought to be appendicitis, and the cancer is diagnosed after the pathologist has processed and reviewed the tissue under the microscope. In that case, another surgery may be recommended to remove another margin of tissue around the area where the tumor began, depending on the type of appendix cancer (such as a neuroendocrine or adenocarcinoma tumor) and the size of the tumor (if it is a neuroendocrine tumor) ​3​.

  • The type of cancer suspected
  • Your signs and symptoms
  • Your age and general condition
  • The results of earlier medical tests

Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan machine

A CT scan uses x-rays captured from various angles to create images of the inside of the body. A computer combines these images into a detailed, three-dimensional (3D) image that shows anomalies or malignancies. A CT scan can be performed to determine the size of the tumor. Before the scan, a specific dye called a contrast medium is sometimes used to improve image detail. This dye can be injected directly into a patient’s vein or taken as a tablet or drink.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

It is a type of imaging (MRI) which is also used for Appendix Cancer Diagnosis. Magnetic fields, not x-rays, are used in an MRI to produce detailed body images. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can be used to determine the tumor’s size. Before the scan, one can be administered with a specific dye called a contrast medium to create a crisper image. This dye can be delivered as a tablet or injected into a patient’s vein.


An ultrasound creates a picture of the interior organs by using sound waves.

Radionuclides (OctreoScan or 68Ga-DOTATATE PET scan)

These tests are only used to diagnose neuroendocrine tumors, not other types of appendix cancer. A little amount of radioactive, hormone-like material is injected into a vein to attract a neuroendocrine tumor. A specific camera can show the location of the radioactive material. This method aids in the detection of a neuroendocrine tumor’s spread.


  1. 1.
    Shaib W, Assi R, Shamseddine A, et al. Appendiceal Mucinous Neoplasms: Diagnosis and Management. Oncologist. 2017;22(9):1107-1116. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2017-0081
  2. 2.
    Ruoff C, Hanna L, Zhi W, Shahzad G, Gotlieb V, Saif M. Cancers of the appendix: review of the literatures. ISRN Oncol. 2011;2011:728579. doi:10.5402/2011/728579
  3. 3.
    Van de, De H, Sagaert X, Van C. Appendiceal cancer : a review of the literature. Acta Gastroenterol Belg. 2020;83(3):441-448. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33094592