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Gallbladder cancer

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Gallbladder cancer

Gallbladder is located on the upper right side of the abdomen and beneath the liver. It is a small, pear-shaped body storing bile. This liquid is secreted by the liver. Gallbladder cancer is seen rarely.

If gall bladder cancer is detected at an early stage, treatment chance is very high. However, some gallbladder cancers are detected very late when the symptoms are weak. It is very difficult to diagnose the gall bladder cancer, because it has not distinct symptoms. In addition, the relatively secretive structure of the gallbladder facilitates growth of the gallbladder cancer without identifying.


  • Abdominal pains
  • Swelling specially on the right upper part of the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice in skin and whites of eyes (jaundice)
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When to see a doctor?

Consult your doctor if any of the above mentioned symptoms is observed.


The causes of the gallbladder cancer are not known. The doctors consider that gall bladder cancer occurs when healthy gall bladder cells develop changes in their DNA (mutations). These mutations cause cells to get out of control and continue to live normally when other cells die. Accumulated cells cause the formation of a tumor spread inside the gall bladder and other parts of the body. Sometimes, the gall bladder cancer begins in the glandular cells that align the inner surface of the gallbladder. Gallbladder cancer that starts in this type of cells is called adenocarcinoma. This term refers to the appearance of cancer cells when examined under a microscope.

Risk factors

Causes increasing the risk of gallbladder cancer include:

  • Gender: Gallbladder cancer is more common in women.
  • Age: Gallbladder cancer risk increases as you become older.
  • History of presence of gall stone: Gallbladder cancer is more common in people having gallstone in the past.
  • Other gallbladder diseases: Other gall bladder diseases that increase the risk of gall bladder cancer include gallbladder polyps and chronic gallbladder infection.
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The treatment of the gallbladder cancer is surgical. Decision is adopted basing on the stage of cancer. In patients who were diagnosed after the operation performed because of gallbladder stone in very early stages, no further procedure is required, while radical surgery is performed in the second and third stages. If the gallbladder cancer has spread, the surgical procedure will be useless.

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