Gallbladder cancer is a rare form of cancer that develops in the gallbladder. When gallbladder cancer is identified early, the chance for a cure is very good. Unfortunately, gallbladder cancers are discovered at a late stage, when the outlook is often very poor. It is difficult to diagnose gallbladder cancer because of absent symptoms. The hidden nature of this type of cancer makes it easier for the cancer to grow without being detected.
Signs and symptoms related to Gallbladder cancer
Gallbladder cancer signs and symptoms may include:
Contributing factors to Gallbladder cancer
It's unclear as to what leads to gallbladder cancer. Cancer in the gallbladder begins in the glandular cells that line the inner surface of the gallbladder. This type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma. This term refers to the way the cancer cells appear when examined under a microscope.
Diagnosis of Gallbladder cancer
- If you have any signs or symptoms that suggest you might have gallbladder cancer, your doctor will want to take a complete medical history to check for risk factors and to learn more about your symptoms. The exam will focus mostly on the abdomen to check for any lumps, tenderness, or buildup of fluid.
- Your doctor may order lab tests to find out how much bilirubin is in the blood. Bilirubin is the chemical that gives the bile its yellow color. Problems in the gallbladder, bile ducts, or liver can raise the blood level of bilirubin. A high bilirubin level tells the doctor that there may be gallbladder, bile duct, or liver problems.
- Imaging tests use x-rays, magnetic fields, or sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your body.
- For this test, a small instrument called a transducer gives off sound waves and picks up their echoes as they bounce off organs inside the body. The echoes are converted by a computer into an image on a screen. The patterns of echoes can help find tumors and show how far they have grown into nearby areas.
- The CT scan uses x-rays to make detailed cross-sectional images of your body. Instead of taking one picture, like a regular x-ray, a CT scanner takes many pictures as it rotates around you while you are on a table.
Treatment and medications for Gallbladder cancer
The treatment for gallbladder cancer
depends on the stage of your cancer, your overall health and your preferences. The initial objective of treatment is to remove the gallbladder cancer, but when it is not obtained other treatments may help control the spread of the disease and keep you as comfortable as possible.
- Surgery may be an option if you have an early-stage gallbladder cancer. This may involve removing the gallbladder or removing the gallbladder and a portion of the liver.
- If surgery can't cure gallbladder cancer that has spread to other areas of the body, Chemotherapy or Radiation therapy may be utilized.
- In advanced gallbladder cancer, which can cause blockages in the bile ducts, different procedures are applied to relieve blockages.