Appendix Cancer

Appendix cancer is a very rare cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. Most cases are found when a person has surgery for another condition, and almost half are found during surgery for appendicitis.

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The outcome of appendix cancer depends a great deal on the size of the tumor and if there is spread to other organs. Appendix cancer commonly spreads to the inner lining of the abdomen called the peritoneum. When this occurs, the condition is called pseudomyxoma peritonei or PMP.

Our Approach

Physicians with M Health Fairview Cancer Care are known for their innovative and groundbreaking care for patients with rare cancers, like appendix cancer. Many treatments that are now available to patients around the world were pioneered at our NCI-designated research center: Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

The treatment options for patients with appendix cancer are often limited. In recent years, surgery combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has been used to treat patients with advanced appendix cancer. Surgical oncologists and colon and rectal surgeons with M Health Fairview Cancer Care are leaders in HIPEC treatment. Started in 2002, we were the first program in the upper Midwest to start using HIPEC treatment and continue to be a regional leader in this advanced treatment.

In addition to our leadership in providing care, our team is active in research projects through Masonic Cancer Center studying the potential causes and risk factors of appendix cancer and have published their findings in a variety of high-profile medical journals.

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures


Chemotherapy is a treatment option for adults or children with cancer using drugs that kill cancer cells. Often simply called “chemo,” chemotherapy is a combination of medications designed to destroy cancer cells, cause remission of your cancer or actually cure the cancer.
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Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a highly concentrated chemotherapy that is directly administered into the abdominal cavity during the cytoreductive surgery procedure to prevent the cancer from coming back.
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Immunotherapy is an emerging form of cancer treatment with great promise and limited toxicity. Its goal is to harness the power of the patient’s immune system and use it to fight cancer. Sometimes called biological therapy, it's changing the way we think about cancer treatment.
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Social Work Services for Cancer Patients

M Health Fairview offers Social Work Services for Cancer Patients, and we're committed to providing you with personalized, breakthrough care.
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There may be other treatments, test, and procedures for this diagnosis, including:

  • Radiation Therapy
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • Tumor Debulking