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Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder Cancer is a type of cancer which begins in the gallbladder (a pea-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, beneath the liver). This type of cancer is uncommon and it is very difficult to diagnose. It is because of the hidden nature of the gallbladder, the cancer grows without being detected.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of gallbladder cancer is unknown. It may sometimes cause due to genetic mutations and accumulation of cells to form cancer. Most of the gallbladders cancer arises in the glandular cells which lines the inner surface of the gallbladder.


The factors that increase the risk of developing gallbladder cancer include:

  • Age:  Gallbladder cancer is more common in people over the age of  70
  • Sex: It is more common in women
  • Being obese
  • Smoking
  • Family history: The risk of getting gallbladder cancer increases if any of your family member has had the condition
    Having gallbladder conditions such as cholecystitis, gallstones, porcelain gallbladder or polyps in gallbladder


Gallbladder cancers usually don’t cause any signs or symptoms, until the disease has reached an advanced stage. Some of the most common symptoms of gallbladder cancer are:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Lumps in belly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dark urine
  • Swelling in abdomen
  • Light colored or greasy stool


The following are some of the tests and procedures used to diagnose gallbladder cancer and to determine its extent:

  • Blood Test : Blood tests will be done to evaluate the function of liver
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) : these imaging tests provides detailed images of gallbladder, bile ducts and other organs nearby
  • Laparoscopy : During this procedure the surgeon will insert a tiny camera in the abdomen by making a small incision. This helps to look into the abdomen for the signs of gall bladder cancer and to examine the organs surrounding the gallbladder
  • MRCP / ERCP :Tests to examine the bile duct which helps to find out the blockages in the bile duct.

Treatment for Gallbladder Cancer

The treatment for gallbladder cancer depends on the stage of the cancer and the overall health of the patient. The most common treatment options for gallbladder cancer include:

  • Surgery to remove gallbladder : it will be done during the early stages of gallbladder cancer
  • Surgery to remove gallbladder and a portion of liver; it will be done when the cancer extends beyond the gallbladder into the liver.
  • Chemotherapy: It is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells
  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation make use of hi-powered energy beams like X rays and protons to kill the cancer cells

Dr Shiva Kumar is one of the best cancer specialist in India; who has years of experience in treating numerous cancer patients. He provides the best treatment for gallbladder cancer in North Bangalore Hospital, which is one of the eminent hospital in Bangalore.

Authored By : Dr. Shiva Kumar Uppala

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