Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease that often arises in the setting of chronic inflammation. Gallbladder cancer is difficult to diagnose because it often causes no specific signs or symptoms. Also, the relatively hidden nature of the gallbladder makes it easier for gallbladder cancer to grow without being detected. When symptoms do occur, they include the following:
• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
• Abdominal pain
• Nausea and vomiting
• A lump in the abdomen
HOW IS GALLBLADDER CANCER DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis for Gallbladder cancer is more like screening for the cancer symptoms. An endoscopic ultrasound might be one of the diagnostic tests recommended by the Oncologist or even the General Physician before the confirmation is made. If it is in advanced stage with all the attendant symptoms as above, then it becomes easier to detect. The fact that this part is tucked inside makes it tougher for the doctors to tell early enough.
HOW IS GALLBLADDER CANCER TREATED?
Surgery is the most preferred treatment for Gallbladder Cancer. But the exact stage of the disease is very important for the surgeon to plan the surgery. Again the most frequently adopted procedure is cholecystectomy, which is the removal of the gallbladder itself. After this, radiotherapy will also be needed to ensure that any leftover cancerous tissues are removed.
DID YOU KNOW?
Anything that increases the chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Risk factors for gallbladder cancer include the following:
• Being female.
• Being Native American.