How is appendix cancer treated?
Every patient at Miami Cancer Institute receives a personalized treatment plan put together by our team of medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and interventional oncologists.
Gastrointestinal oncologists at Miami Cancer Institute participate in multidisciplinary tumor boards, which allow them to collaborate with other specialists to determine the best treatment option for your cancer. With these expert opinions weighing in on your treatment, it is similar to having second and third opinions on your diagnosis – all under one roof.
Our philosophy is to find the plan that not only treats the cancer, but also fits you as a patient. Your care team will consider your specific diagnosis and type of tumor, the stage of disease, size and location of tumor and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. We also work closely with physical therapists, nurses, nutritionists and psychosocial experts to ensure we address any potential side effects of treatment.
Surgery is often the first step to treating appendix cancer. Several different types of surgery are used to treat appendix cancer. Your care team will work with you to choose a surgery based on the size of your tumor, its location and stage. Surgery options may include:
- Removing the appendix (appendectomy). This is usually done if the tumor has not spread to other organs.
- Removing the appendix and part of the colon next to the appendix (hemicolectomy). Your surgeons will reattach the rest of the colon to make sure it functions properly.
- Removing the tumor and organs that may be attached to the tumor, such as the gallbladder, ovaries, uterus, spleen and intestine (cytoreductive or debulking surgery).
If you undergo surgery to treat your cancer, our specialists will work with you to provide a faster, less painful recovery process that involves fewer tubes and drains. Miami Cancer Institute is well-known for this enhanced recovery program, which aims to improve the patient experience before and after surgery.
If your cancer has spread to other parts of your body, your care team may consider additional treatments, including:
- Chemotherapy. This treatment users medicine – or several medicines – to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy treatment may come before or after surgery.
- Radiation therapy. This treatment uses image-guided radiation to kill cancer cells. At Miami Cancer Institute, our advanced radiation oncology department gives patients access to every form of radiation treatment, all available under one roof.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Stem cell transplantation experts and hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
Patient Support Services
Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.
South Florida's First Proton Therapy Center
Proton therapy is a highly specialized treatment that directs proton particles toward tumors to destroy cancer cells while largely sparing healthy tissue and decreasing the risk of side effects. This sophisticated treatment is used only for certain types of cancers and in a limited number of individuals.