Unless a tumor in the appendix causes appendicitis, you may not have noticeable symptoms until the cancer is advanced and has spread to other organs or caused a blockage. Often, appendix cancer is found accidentally when the organ is removed or when a patient is having a scan for another reason and the radiologist notices a suspicious mass.
The main symptom of appendix cancer — bloating or an increase in abdominal size — could be a sign of many other illnesses.
Other symptoms are related to the organs to which the cancer has spread. These include:
- pelvic discomfort or vague abdominal discomfort, usually on the right side
- pain in the abdomen and/or a feeling of fullness
- bowel obstruction or blockage
- inability to pass gas
- ovarian masses
- shortness of breath
- flushing or redness about the face and neck
- loss of appetite
Symptoms of appendicitis include:
- sharp, severe pain that starts in the center of the abdomen but moves down to the lower right side
- pain that worsens on coughing
- nausea and vomiting
- low-grade fever
- diarrhea or hard stools
If the appendix bursts, the symptoms may go away for a while. However, they will return, along with the other symptoms.