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What Does Gallbladder Cancer Entail?

gallbladderEvery part of the body can develop cancer, including the gallbladder. This little organ sits to the right side of the abdomen right under the liver. Its job is to store up bile and release it when you eat fats, but it’s not actually a vital organ—people have their gallbladders removed without any serious complications all the time. One reason you might have your gallbladder removed is if it is invaded by cancerous cells. Fortunately, this is fairly uncommon, and if it’s caught early, it can easily be dealt with. Unfortunately, it’s very rarely caught early, which is why it’s considered a very serious issue.

The biggest problem with gallbladder cancer is that it’s very hard to diagnose. There are no real easy to spot symptoms or signs of it, and since the gallbladder is fairly hidden, it’s often very easy for experts to miss spotting cancer until it has spread and grown to the hard-to-treat point.

Signs of Gallbladder Cancer

The signs of gallbladder cancer are, unfortunately, very similar to a number of other signs. That’s what makes it so hard to diagnose. Here are some of the symptoms you might experience if you have gallbladder cancer.

• Fever
• Abdominal bloating
• Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen
• Itchiness
• Appetite loss
• Weight loss
• Feeling Nauseous
• Jaundice – the whites of your eyes or your skin turning yellow

If you have any of these symptoms and can’t immediately find another cause for them, see a doctor.

What Causes Gallbladder Cancer?

No one is certain what exactly causes the cells of the gallbladder to become unhealthy and mutate. When this happens, though, the cells grow too quickly and create a tumor. This tumor may actually grow out of the gallbladder and spread, causing even worse issues.

Treatment

The treatment for gallbladder cancer depends on the stage in which it’s caught. The first option is to remove the gallbladder completely, but that’s not always a possibility. When it’s not, the plan is to slow down the spread of the cancer as much as possible to give patients as much time as they can.

In some cases, a part of the liver may have to be removed as well as the gallbladder if the cancer has spread. Unfortunately, this may not always be possible if the cancer has spread too far into the liver.

In late stages of gallbladder cancer, there are a few options, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and a number of experimental medications that are currently being tested.