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Gallbladder Cancer - Know The Symptoms & Treatment Of It!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, Surgical Registrar
Surgical Oncology, Mumbai  •  60years experience
Gallbladder Cancer - Know The Symptoms & Treatment Of It!

Under the liver, there is a small pear-shaped organ called gallbladder. It stores bile juice, which helps to digest fat. Gallbladder Cancer activates when the healthy cells in the gallbladder start to grow abnormally and end up forming a mass of cells, which is known as tumors.

Symptoms and Signs of Gallbladder Cancer:

Gallbladder is a very tiny organ located deep inside the body. It has a few functions and contribution to the body. This is why there are no significant early symptoms that can be noticed easily. It is quite difficult to detect cancer.

There are a few symptoms that might occur at an advanced stage:

  1. Pain and cramping in the abdominal area

  2. Fever

  3. Vomiting and nausea

  4. Jaundice (Yellow Fever)

  5. A lump in the abdominal region

How is Gallbladder Cancer Diagnosed?

There are a couple of ways to diagnose Gallbladder Cancer. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Physical Exam: In physical exams, doctor checks for a lump or any fluid stored in the abdomen area, while looking for the signs of jaundice.

  2. Blood Test: It is done to ensure the proper functioning of the liver and bladder. If there are faults in the reports, then further tests are recommended to determine the severity and stage of the cancer. This also determines the type of medication a patient needs to treat cancer.

  3. Imaging Test: Tests like X-rays and CT scans are recommended after there are faults in the blood reports. A CT scan and an X-ray operator are looking for any lump or mass present in the bladder.

  4. Laparoscopy: This procedure is done when it is confirmed that the patient has cancer. To determine how advanced the cancer is, a flexible tube is inserted in the abdominal area through an incision. The tube has a light, and a camera attached to it. It can be done through surgery or any other treatment.

  5. Biopsy: A small tissue sample is taken with a thin needle from the bladder to test for the cancerous cells.

Treatment of Gallbladder Cancer:

Like any other form of cancer, the treatment procedure is quite similar, which is as follows:

  1. Surgery: Under the surgical option, the entire gallbladder is removed along with the lymph nodes surrounding it. If the stage of cancer is advanced, the removal of the bladder is easily possible, it unblocks the blocked bladder which releases the bile juice that cannot pass due to the tumor.

  2. Radiation Therapy: In this treatment, rays with very high-energy are used to destroy the cancerous cells and prevent them from growing rapidly.

  3. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is recommended before and after the surgery. In chemotherapy, a drug is given to the patient which can be taken through the mouth, by infusion, or by an injection in the abdominal area. It does not let the cancerous cells multiply. It is done before the surgery because it reduces the size of the tumor which makes it easier for the surgeons to operate. It is recommended to be done after the surgery because it makes sure that the cancer cells stop multiplying.

Conclusion:

There are many treatments for Gallbladder Cancer. However, it depends upon the severity and stage of the cancer. This is why it is always advisable to consult an oncologist before opting for any medication or treatment. It is also advisable to treat Gallbladder Cancer at an early stage for better results.

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