Goblet cell carcinoma is a rare type of cancer that usually develops in the appendix, an organ located in the lower right portion of the abdomen. Cancers form when a change (mutation) in DNA causes certain cells to grow out of control, sometimes forming a lump or a tumor. Some of these cancerous cells can break off and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body and grow there. In women, it is common for goblet cell carcinoma to spread to the ovaries located on either side of the body in the lower abdominal area—this situation occurs in as many as half of the cases.
Goblet cell carcinoma most commonly occurs in adults between the ages of 50 and 60, though it can appear in all age groups. The first symptom that affected individuals typically notice is acute appendicitis, which is inflammation of the appendix. These patients can have severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite. There may also be swelling or the finding of a lump near the abdominal region, which may or may not be painful. Diagnoses are made using a combination of a physical exam, imaging studies, and other laboratory studies.
Treatment for goblet cell carcinoma depends on many factors such as how large the cancer is and if it has spread to other areas of the body. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with goblet cell carcinoma, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options. Support groups are also available for more resources and information.