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Last Updated: Oct 31, 2019
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Gallbladder Cancer: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is Gallbladder Cancer? How Gallbladder Cancer is treated? Are there any side effects? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent?

What is Gallbladder Cancer?

A rare form of cancer, Gallbladder cancer occurs when the malignant or cancer cells reside in the tissues of the gallbladder, located right below the liver. The pear-shaped small organ, gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver in the body. This bile is released through the common bile duct. The bile duct is the connecting bridge between the liver and the gallbladder. The vulnerability of gallbladder cancer is more for females and Native Americans. The worst feature of gallbladder cancer is that the disease does not get diagnosed early. Symptoms are noticed after a long span since the onset of cancer in the gallbladder.

However, most of the gallbladder cancer generally are adenocarcinomas. These cancers start in the cells and get connected nearer internal and external body parts and even the digestive system.

As the symptoms show up later in the course, the complications in treatment are more. An early diagnosis, in any case, will make treatment more effective and efficient to cure.

Some common symptoms of gallbladder cancer include severe abdominal pain in the upper right portion of the belly, frequent vomiting tendency, lump in the belly. The lump is due to the block of the bile duct by the cancer cell that makes the gallbladder larger in size. Jaundice is also a symptom of gallbladder cancer. Other symptoms include itchy skin, dark colour urine, greasy or white coloured stools, sudden weight loss and loss of appetite.

How Gallbladder Cancer is treated?

If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should immediately consult with a doctor and get a diagnosis done.

The doctor would ask for a detailed information regarding the symptoms and the tenure of the symptoms too. The patient is prescribed to undergo few medical tests like blood tests and MRI or computerized tomography of the gallbladder in order to get a clear picture of the condition of the gallbladder. Sometimes, the doctor also recommends conducting a surgery in order to check how deep cancer has spread. Bile ducts are also tested.

These medical tests will determine the current stage of gallbladder cancer. There are four stages of gallbladder cancer. The first stage remains to confine to the inner portion of the gallbladder whereas stage II ensures the presence of cancer extended to the outer layer of the organ. While in stage III, cancer has spread to the nearby organs of the like small intention, liver and the stomach too. Fourth or the last stage of gallbladder cancer leads to large size tumours in various organs of the body.

For early-stage gallbladder cancer, treatment remains limited to surgery and medication. In some cases, the doctor suggests for the removal of the gallbladder and for patients with cancer that has already extended to the liver organ, both the gallbladder and a portion of the liver is operated and removed.

However, severe or last stages of gallbladder cancer are treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Who is eligible for the treatment?

If you are going through symptoms that are similar to ones for gallbladder cancer, you should immediately consult a doctor. After a proper diagnosis, if you are diagnosed to have gallbladder cancer, you are eligible for the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If you aren’t suffering from any such adverse symptoms, there is no need for the treatment. Even if you experience any such symptoms, it does not always ensure that you are having gallbladder cancer. A proper diagnosis is essential before proceeding with any treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Needless to mention, the extensive treatment for treating gallbladder cancer is accompanied by several severe side effects. Besides the hazards faced after undergoing a surgery, the prime source of side effects remains the chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Some adverse side effects of chemotherapy are drastic hair loss, nausea and vomiting, severe diarrhoea, loss of appetite and weight loss. Moreover, due to a reduced number of red blood cells, the person is extremely prone towards fatigue and more vulnerable to infections at a high level.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

It is extremely necessary to lead a regulated life post the treatment. The treatment is only the first step whereas, proper maintenance remains the prior factor for recovery. A healthy diet with all nutritious products should essentially add to your daily diet. A forever no to alcohol or any harmful drugs. Oily foods should be avoided.

The person should not indulge in activities that result in stress. Rest is although a huge necessity for patients suffering from cancer.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery entirely rests on the severity of the condition of the patient. Being diagnosed at an early stage, treatment and medication can help to cure.

However, if the person is diagnosed at the last or stage IV level, 50% of 100 generally survives for around 5 years from the onset of the symptoms and the diagnosis.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of the treatment varies greatly. For patients who undergo surgery, the cost varies between 80,000 INR to 2,00000 INR. However, in case of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, it includes a huge cost around 2,00000 to 20,00000 INR.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Recovery depends on the condition of the patient, the extent to which cancer got spread. For patients being diagnosed at stage I, recovery is usually attained considered that the patient takes required treatment and care. Whereas, for patient enduring the last stage of gallbladder cancer, 50 amongst 100 sustains to live for 5 years or more.

Popular Questions & Answers

Gallbladder adenocarcinoma with metastasis to liver to a person of age 56 .can it be cured. Symptoms-pain abdomen, weight loss and other general condition is Good.

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
Gall bladder cancer usually spreads to the liver by contiguous spread, which is curable although advanced (hence percent cured is less) However if it has metastasised to the liver, then cure is unlikely and treatment is palliative. I would be able...
2 people found this helpful

My gallbladder surgery is done 2 days back in which my gallbladder has been removed. Should I continue liv 52 because I was taking it before surgery also?

MS - General Surgery, FMAS.Laparoscopy
General Surgeon, Gandhinagar
Hello dear Lybrate user, Warm welcome to Lybrate.com I have evaluated your query thoroughly. No not to be taken now after surgery as the reason of the problem is removed, then it has no role to play in body Hope this clears your query. Wishing you...
2 people found this helpful

I had undergone a Gall bladder removal surgery last 7 days back. There is no pain right now. They have put 4 holes. They said Stitches ll automatically fall down within 2 weeks. But am facing an issue past 2 days. When I sleep in the night and while getting up in the morning I could notice some blood discharge near the naval where the stitches have put. Is anything to worry? When we asked doctor he said nothing to worry. Am concerned about it.

MS - General Surgery, FMAS.Laparoscopy
General Surgeon, Gandhinagar
Hello dear Lybrate user, Warm welcome to Lybrate.com I have evaluated your query thoroughly. Possible infection at the site, otherwise there should not be bleeding at 7 days. Must visit surgeon, it requires dressing and antibiotics to cover up. Ho...

Dear mam/sir I have gallbladder stone size is 4 mm max 10 stones what am doing operation is best are any another process.

Registrar In Surgical Oncology, Fellowship In Gynaecologic Oncology, Masters In Advanced Oncology, Fellowship In advanced laparoscopy and robotic surgery, Fellowship In Gastrointestinal Oncology, Fellowship In CRS and HIPEC, Fellowship In PIPAC
Oncologist, Mumbai
When the stones are small, the risk is that the stones can slip into the bile duct. This can cause an emergency called obstructive jaundice. So it's better to undergo surgery called laparoscopic cholecystectomy. It is a 2 hr surgery and the patien...
1 person found this helpful

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