Gallbladder cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when cells in the gallbladder start dividing uncontrollably. The gall bladder is connected to vital organs such as the liver, pancreas, and small intestine. If cancer develops in the gall bladder, there is a higher risk of it spreading to nearby organs like the liver, pancreas, or small intestine. Therefore, detecting gall bladder cancer in its early stages is crucial to prevent it from spreading to other organs.
Symptoms of gall bladder cancer:
Typically, gallbladder cancer doesn’t exhibit symptoms during its initial stages. However, patients usually start experiencing symptoms during the more advanced stages. The following are some of the symptoms that patients may exhibit.
Pain in the Upper Abdomen: Due to inflammation patient feels pain.
Weight Loss: Due to decreased appetite
Yellowish skin called jaundice:
Loss of appetite
Fever if cancer spreads to other organs
Gallbladder stones: Gallstones are the main cause of gallbladder cancer. As stones irritate the walls of the gall bladder, resulting in an outgrowth of cells called cancer?
Family History: People with a family history are at risk of developing it.
Being Female: Being female doubles the risk of it.
Recurrent Typhoid: Patients with recurrent typhoid infections are at high risk of developing cancer.As bacteria in typhoid known as salmonella causes inflammation and swelling in the gall bladder.
Obesity: Being obese is another cause of it. Obesity causes many inflammatory processes in the body.
Calcium deposition: A condition in which calcium is deposited around the gall bladder which usually occurs in prolonged inflammation of the gall bladder due to stones in it. People with this condition are at high risk of developing cancer.
Older age: People with ages above 65 are at high risk.
Chemical exposure: People exposed to chemicals that are used in rubber and textile industries are at high risk of developing cancer.
Gallbladder cancer /changes in gall bladder are normally seen in an ultrasound.
Biopsy: An ultrasound-guided biopsy is done for the types.
CT scan: CT scan is done to see the spread of disease to other parts or organs like the liver, pancreas, abdomen, chest, and brain. This may help the physician in the staging of cancer.
Magnetic resonance image: MRI may be done to see other systems and get a clear picture.
Cholecystectomy (Removal of gallbladder)
Treatment of gall bladder cancer depends upon the stage of cancer. If the cancer is localized to the gall bladder then removal of the whole gall bladder is more effective than administering chemotherapy sessions to finish any remaining cells.
Chemotherapy: Moreover, if surgery is not possible and if the cancer has spread to other organs then chemotherapy is given to ease the symptoms usually called palliative chemotherapy.
Prevention of Gallbladder Cancer:
- Cholecystectomy: The only preventive measure for gallbladder cancer is to prevent gallstones. If a gallstone is diagnosed, the whole gall bladder must be removed, called a cholecystectomy.
- Reduce weight.
- Avoid exposure to chemicals
- Have routine medical checkups properly.
- Avoid the formation of gall bladder stones by avoiding fatty foods as gall bladder stones are formed from high cholesterol or saturated fats.
Complications of Gallbladder cancer:
Liver metastasis: Moreover, cancer cells spread to the liver and block the vessels in the liver. Which may lead to severe jaundice in a patient. In this case, stenting in the liver is done to drain the bile from the liver.
Ascites: When the liver function is compromised fluid starts to build up in the abdomen, called ascites.
Bone Metastasis. Moreover, Cancer may spread to bone and patients suffer from body pains, especially bone pains.
Lung Metastases: In advanced stages, cancer spreads to the lungs. This may further lead to problems in breathing.
GI Disturbances: The patient will have problems with digestion, nausea, vomiting, abdominal fullness, etc.
Furthermore, gall bladder cancer can be prevented by avoiding some risk factors. However, Diagnosis in the early stages may have very good results in recovery and good treatment options. Furthermore, most cancer of the gallbladder is because of gallstones, so preventing gallstones can decrease the risk of gallbladder cancer.