I’ve had two recent comments from people diagnosed with appendix cancer.  It sounds like neither were being treated by a specialist.  It sounded like they were being treated as though they had colon cancer.  This treatment is not appropriate for appendix cancer.

Just receiving IV chemo only, even after bowel surgery, will not cure this cancer.  IV chemo may shrink tumors and slow their growth, but it will not rid your body of the cancer.   If you only receive chemo therapy, you will probably die of this cancer, though you may buy yourself some time.  One specialist told me 100% of the patient he knew who had only received chemotherapy had died.

This cancer spreads small cancerous tumors into the abdomen.  These tumors need to ALL be removed during a surgery called cytoreduction surgery that is done by an appendix cancer specialist, not just a surgeon who does cancer surgeries.

Chemotherapy needs to be put directly into your abdomen, a procedure called HIPEC.   The chemotherapy comes into contact with and kills any microscopic cancer cells that can’t be seen following the cytoreduction surgery.  If these microscopic cells remain, they will cause the cancer to recur.  The chemotherapy in the abdomen cannot kill cancerous tumors that can be seen by the eye, only microscopic cells.

I have information about cytoreduction surgery and HIPEC on my website.

You may receive IV chemo after the cytoreduction surgery and HIPEC, but I was told that chemo was to prevent me from having the cancer spread outside of my abdomen if any cells escaped during surgery.  I was told that that chemo would not kill tumors remaining inside my abdomen.

Treatment for appendix cancer requires treatment by an appendix cancer specialist.  Many famous hospitals and medical centers do not treat appendix cancer well.  There are not many appendix cancer specialists in the United States, so most likely you will have to travel.  There is not even a specialist in every state.

If you look at my Physicians and Facilities pages, you can find specialists who treat appendix cancer.  I traveled 1600 miles round trip 5 times to see my specialist.  But I am alive 18 years after a famous hospital in a major city told me I would die of my cancer, that I was untreatable.

Please, if you are newly diagnosed, see an appendix cancer specialist ASAP!!!  Even very good surgeons and oncologists are unfamiliar with appendix cancer, you need someone who specializes in the disease.