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Gallbladder Cancer, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Table of contents

  1. Gallbladder cancer 
  2. Symptoms of gallbladder cancer
  3. Causes of gallbladder cancer
  4. Diagnosing gallbladder cancer
  5. Treatment of gallbladder cancer

Gallbladder cancer 

It is very rare type of cancer, and only 800 people in UK are known to have gallbladder cancer every year. There are different types of gallbladder cancer, which depends on the affected cells.

According to one estimate that almost 85% cases of gallbladder cancer reported are adenocarcinoma, it simply means that the cancer started in the nearby gland cells and then transfer to the gallbladder. While the cancer which starts in the cell linings the skin of gallbladder is known as squamous cell cancer. It I more common in women than in the men, almost 7 cases out of 10 are reported in the women. Gallbladder cancer is also common in older individuals, especially in those who are above 70 years of age.

gallbladder cancer

Symptoms of gallbladder cancer

In the beginning, no symptoms appear for the gallbladder cancer, it clearly signifies that it is at its advance stage at the time when it is diagnosed.

The common symptoms which appear at the later stage may include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • You may feel sick
  • Appearance of jaundice i.e. yellow appearance in the skin with white eyes

symptoms of gallbladdr cancer

The underline symptoms could be clearly linked to some other condition and are not directly linked with gallbladder cancer. But, if you are feeling any of the above mentioned conditions, then consult with your doctor to find out the real cause behind these symptoms. The other symptoms of gallbladder cancer include: unexpected weight loss, loss of appetite and swollen stomach.

Causes of gallbladder cancer

The gallbladder cancer is characterized by the abnormal growth of cells within gallbladder. The real causes of gallbladder cancer are known, but there are certain things which are known to increase the chances of developing a cancer.

It is known that condition is more common in older people hence, chances of developing a gallbladder cancer increases with the age. Most of the cases in UK are reported in people above 70 years.

causes of gallbladder cancer

Some factors which increases the chance of gallbladder cancer are: unhealthy diet, obesity and smoking. But, there is no direct evidence between diet and gallbladder cancer.

In addition to these factors, number of conditions are known to increase the chances of developing a gallbladder cancer. These include: cholecystitis, gallstones and diabetes. If you have family history of cholecystitis, gallstones and gallbladder cancer, you are most likely to develop gallbladder cancer.

Diagnosing gallbladder cancer

The doctor ask about the possible symptoms and then examine your body. If you are suspected for a gallbladder cancer then you must be referred to a specialist, which is gastroenterologist.

The gastroenterologist may ask you about complete medical history, and check to find out that the glands or groin region are swollen or not.

The initial test may include:

  • The first test which is acquired is the blood test
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan

If these tests seems to be abnormal, then you further test may be carried out to confirm the gallbladder cancer. These test may include:

  • MRCP which is magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography
  • ERCP which is endoscopic retrograde cholengiopancreatography
  • Fine needle aspiration and biopsy

Treatment of gallbladder cancer

The first and the possibly treatment is the removal of gallbladder through surgery, which also include the removal of surrounding tissues.

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy can also be used, either in combination with surgery or by their own. The treatment depends on the following factors:

  • The type of gallbladder cancer affecting you
  • The possible stage of your cancer
  • The level of health of the suspected individuals

treatment of gallbladder cancer

The chances of survival directly depends on the advancement of the condition.

If, the cancer is confined to just gallbladder then your chances of survival for more than five years is more than 80%. But, if your cancer is spread to other body parts then survival for five years is less than 30%.

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