The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located right below the liver. The organ secretes bile juice which is responsible for digestion. A cancer growth in this organ is rare and usually develops as cancer
Types of Gallbladder Cancer
Based on the type of cell, gallbladder cancers are of the following types:
Adenocarcinoma: This is the most common type of gallbladder cancer which starts in the inner lining of the gallbladder.
Adenosquamous Carcinoma: This is a rare type which starts in the outer lining of the organ.
Early symptoms of gallbladder cancer are similar to gallbladder inflammation which may be confusing in the beginning. If the symptoms are prolonged, they should be brought to the physician's attention immediately. The common symptoms are:
- Loss of appetite
- Abrupt weight loss
- Persistent pain in the right side of the abdomen
- Swollen abdomen
- Lump on the right side of the abdomen
The exact cause of gallbladder cancer is not known. The possible causes, however, are:
- Gender: Women are more prone than men
- Family history of gallstones or gallbladder cancer
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Impaired gallbladder
- Hormone replacement therapy
The treatment strategy for gallbladder cancer depends on the stage and type of cancer, age, and overall health of the patient. Surgery is usually the mainstay of the treatment. It may be combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for better outcomes.
- Surgery: Surgery is the mainstay of gallbladder cancer. The doctor will remove the tumour tissues along with surrounding healthy tissues and lymph nodes.
- Radiation therapy: High-energy X-rays will be used to destroy cancer cells. These radiations may be administered before or after the surgery depending on the patient's condition.
- Chemotherapy: High doses of anti-cancer drugs will be administered to destroy cancer cells. In some cases, chemotherapy is combined with radiation therapy to remove cells from the body.