Gall Bladder Cancer

Most gall bladder cancers start in the glandular cells in the gall bladder. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ under the liver. The gallbladder concentrates and stores bile, a fluid made in the liver.

  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Lump in abdomen
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice
  • Gallstones
  • Porcelain gallbladder (incidence higher in females of Northern India)
  • Obesity
  • Older age
  • Choledochal cysts
  • Gallbladder polyps
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Industrial and environmental chemicals
  • Typhoid and family history

Tumour which is present as small gallbladder mass may spread to liver, bile duct, vessels or adjacent organ and can present as mass in abdomen, jaundice, fluid in tummy, vomiting, cachexia.

Tests such as Biopsy, X-ray, Percutaneous cholangiography, Blood tests, Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Clinical symptoms along with biochemical tests and tumour markers (CA 19-9, CEA) are used for diagnosis. Biopsy is carried out only for inoperable cases (for palliative therapy).

Surgery

A laparoscope is sometimes used to guide gallbladder surgery. If the cancer has spread and cannot be removed, certain palliative surgeries may relieve symptoms. Surgery offers the best results and involves removal of gall blader along with adjuvant liver and lymph nodes. In advanced tumours surgical palliatives can be offered for jaundice and obstruction.

Other treatment options

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy and endoscopic stenting for jaundice.

Gall bladder cancer may require extended liver resection and vascular resection for cure–both of which are being offered at Kokilaben Hospital.

There is strong evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk of gallbladder cancer. Keep your weight in check.

Patients with gall bladder and polyps should be seen by surgeons regarding discussion for surgery as they can be associated with cancer.