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Gall Bladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer is the rapid growth of cancerous cells that occurs in the gallbladder. The gall bladder is a small sac-like organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. The gall bladder stores bile- a fluid made by your liver. It is used in digesting food.

The gallbladder is a rare type of cancer. If detected at more initial stages, the chance for a cure is extremely good. However, if the gallbladder cancers are discovered at later stages, then the prognosis is often abysmal.

Gallbladder cancer frequently causes no specific signs or symptoms and is, therefore, difficult to diagnose. Also, as the gallbladder is hidden; it makes it easier for gallbladder cancer to grow without being detected.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you observe any symptoms and get it diagnosed and treated.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of Gallbladder cancer may include:

  • Abdominal pain, specifically in the upper right portion of the abdomen
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Fever
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice

Diagnosis

To diagnose gallbladder, tests, and procedures include:

  • Blood tests: The doctor may recommend Liver function tests which may help your doctor show how well your liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts are working and give clues about what's causing your symptoms.
  • Procedures to generate images of the gallbladder: Imaging tests will be used by the doctor to create pictures of the gallbladder by using ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Exploratory surgery: Your doctor may recommend surgery to look inside your abdomen for determining how far the gallbladder cancer has spread.
  • Laparoscopy: In a procedure called laparoscopy, a tiny camera is inserted inside through a small incision in your abdomen to examine organs surrounding your gallbladder for signs that cancer has spread.
  • Tests to examine the bile ducts: To examine the blockages in your bile ducts or liver, the doctor will suggest an X-ray taken after a dye is injected. The dye will result in presenting detailed images. These tests may involve magnetic resonance cholangiography, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography.
  • Additional imaging tests: Other scans and tests will also be suggested by the doctor to help determine whether cancer has spread or remains localized. The scans will be performed depending on the circumstances, and these include, CT scan of chest and abdomen, ultrasonography, and an MRI of the liver.

Treatment

The doctor may recommend gallbladder cancer treatment options depending on the stage of your cancer, your overall health, and your preferences. The goal of any treatment will be to remove the gallbladder cancer. But, if that is not, then other therapies will be implemented to help combat the spread of the disease and keep you as comfortable as possible.

  • Surgery for Stomach Cancer: The surgeon will remove the gallbladder and a portion of the liver to eliminate cancerous cells. Every so often, surgery is also performed to remove portions of the liver and bile ducts that surround the gallbladder.
  • Radiation treatments: A powerful beam of energy, such as X-rays is used to target and eliminate cancerous cells before and after surgery. Radiation therapy can be used before surgery to limit a tumour so that it's more deftly removed.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is implemented to kill cancer cells and limit the growth of cancer cells that may have spread beyond the gallbladder.
  • Targeted Therapy: These drugs primarily affect cancer cells and not active cells. These drugs block the abnormalities causing cancer cells to die.

Preventing gallbladder cancer

Some tips for a healthy lifestyle may include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Exercising.

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