Gallbladder cancer

June 2017


Definition


The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located under the liver. This organ holds the bile secreted by the liver that is then sent into the intestines via the bile duct to help the body digest fats.
Cancer of the gallbladder is a very rare cancer, and its symptoms usually appear at an advanced stage, when the tumor has already spread to nearby organs. It typically begins to develop at the age of 65 and affects more women than men. According to some studies, this cancer appears following the formation of stones within the gallbladder over several years.

Symptoms


The symptoms of cancer of the gallbladder appear very late and are as follows:
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • pain in the right half of the abdomen, under the ribs. This pain can also spread to the right shoulder;
  • loss of appetite, accompanied by weight loss;
  • jaundice.

Diagnosis


Gallbladder cancer is detectable by specific tests, when symptoms develop or when the doctor suspects the presence of such a cancer. Tests may include blood tests, direct sampling of the bladder or biopsy, and ultrasound. Additional tests are also performed to determine the stage of the disease.

Treatment


Treatment plans for gallbladder cancer vary depending on people. Cancer of the gallbladder is not very sensitive to radiation or drugs typically used in the treatment of cancers, and has a very high risk of recurrence after chemotherapy or radiotherapy. This is why the special treatment of this type of cancer involves the removal of the gallbladder, which, if done early enough in the disease course, provides a good chance of recovery.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on June 3, 2013 at 01:14 PM by Jeff.
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