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Gallbladder Cancer

The gallbladder is a hollow, pear-shaped organ on the right side of the abdomen, under the liver, and is part of the biliary system. It stores and concentrates the bile that comes from the liver. Gallbladder cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the gallbladder and is uncommon. If discovered in time, the chance of cure is relatively high. But most gallbladder cancers are discovered at a later stage.

Causes of Gallbladder Cancer

  • Gallstones
  • Carcinogens
  • Obesity
  • Chronic typhoid
  • Gallbladder polyps
  • Family history

Symptoms of Gallbladder Cancer

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Jaundice
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Lumps in the belly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine

Prevention of Gallbladder Cancer

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay active
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat nutritional diet
  • Exercise regularly

Diagnosis of Gallbladder Cancer

  • Blood test – It helps the doctor evaluate liver function and determine signs and symptoms
  • Imaging – CT scans and MRI help create pictures of the gallbladder and study them further
  • Exploratory surgery – This procedure includes making a small incision in the abdomen where a tiny camera is inserted. This helps the surgeon examine the area surrounding the gallbladder and check if cancer has spread to nearby organs
  • Cholangiography – It is an imaging test that looks at the bile ducts to see if they are blocked, narrowed, or dilated

Treatment of Gallbladder Cancer

  • Surgery – Surgeries like cholecystectomy might be done to remove the gallbladder and some tissues around it. Some lymph nodes near it might also be removed
  • Radiation therapy – Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation like X-rays for killing the cancer cells or halting their growth
  • Chemotherapy – This treatment uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells. It does this either by killing the cancer cells or by preventing their further division. It can be done either intravenously or orally. The drugs enter the bloodstream and reach the cancer cells across the body
  • Immunotherapy – It uses body’s immune system to fight off cancer cells. Substances made in labs or by the body itself are used to boost and restore the body’s immune system and use as a defense against the cancer cells
  • Targeted Therapy –This treatment uses specific drugs that are designed specifically to target the tumor cells present in the gallbladder. This therapy causes less harm to the normal cells than chemotherapy and radiation therapy