It is cancer that starts in the gallbladder. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just below your abdomen. The gallbladder stores bile, a digestive fluid produced by your liver. Gallbladder cancer is rare.
When gallbladder cancer is discovered in its earliest stages, the chances of cure are very good. However, most gallbladder cancers are discovered at a late stage, when the prognosis is usually very poor. Gallbladder cancer is difficult to diagnose because it often shows no obvious signs or symptoms. Also, the relatively hidden nature of the gallbladder makes it easy for gallbladder cancer to grow undetected.
Swelling, especially in the upper right part of the abdomen
losing unwanted weight
Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
When should you see a doctor?
If you have any of the above signs or symptoms, contact your doctor.
It’s not clear what causes gallbladder cancer. Doctors know that gallbladder cancer occurs when healthy gallbladder cells develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. These mutations cause cells to grow out of control and normally continue to live when other cells die. The accumulating cells form a tumor that can travel beyond the gallbladder and spread to other parts of the body. Most gallbladder cancers begin in the glandular cells that line the lining of the gallbladder. Gallbladder cancer that starts in this type of cells is called adenocarcinoma. The term refers to the way cancer cells appear when viewed under a microscope.
Factors that can increase the risk of gallbladder cancer include:
Gender: Gallbladder cancer is more common in women.
Age: Your risk of gallbladder cancer increases as you get older.
History of gallstones: Gallbladder cancer is more common in people who have had gallstones in the past.
Other gallbladder diseases: Other gallbladder conditions that can increase the risk of gallbladder cancer include gallbladder polyps and chronic gallbladder infection.
The treatment of gallbladder cancer is surgery. The decision is made according to the stage of the cancer. While no other procedure is required for patients diagnosed with gallstones after surgery in the very early stages, radical surgery is performed in stages 2 and 3. If the gallbladder cancer has spread, the surgical procedure will not help.