Delta Medix Patient General Information

Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ below the liver that collects and stores bile (a fluid made by the liver to digest fat). Gallbladder cancer begins in the innermost layer of tissue and spreads through the outer layer as it grows.

Gallbladder cancer is difficult to detect and diagnose for the following reasons

  • There are not any noticeable signs and symptoms in the early stages of gallbladder cancer
  • The symptoms of gallbladder cancer, when present, are like the symptoms of many other illnesses
  • The gallbladder is hidden behind the liver

Possible symptoms of gallbladder cancer

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Pain above the stomach
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Lumps in the stomach

These and other symptoms may be caused by gallbladder cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. Your doctor should be consulted if you have these symptoms. Gallbladder cancer is sometimes found when the gallbladder is removed for other reasons.

Treatment Options for Gallbladder Cancer

  • Surgery to remove the gallbladder and some of the tissues around it may be the treatment for gallbladder cancer. The term for removal of the gallbladder by surgery is cholecystectomy. If cancer has spread and cannot be removed, other types of surgery may relieve symptoms. You and your surgeon can talk about the types of surgery and which may be right for you.
  • Radiation Therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It affects cells only in the treated areas. Radiation therapy may be used with chemotherapy to treat gallbladder cancer.
  • Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and can affect cancer cells all over the body. Anticancer drugs may be given through a vein (intravenously), but some may be given by mouth.