Cancer of the Gallbladder

What is Gallbladder Cancer?

Gallbladder cancer is a rare type of cancer that forms in the gallbladder, a small organ located below the liver. Gallbladder cancer is usually diagnosed in its later stages, when it has spread to surrounding organs. As a result, the average survival rate for people with this cancer is only 5-10%.

Risk Factors for Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer is most commonly found in adults aged 60 and older. Other possible risk factors include:

  • Chronic inflammation of the gallbladder
  • High fat diet
  • Liver disease
  • Morbid obesity
  • Gender - Women are more likely to develop gallbladder cancer than men

Signs and Symptoms of Gallbladder Cancer

The signs and symptoms of gallbladder cancer can vary from person to person, but may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating and indigestion

Diagnosis and Treatment of Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer is typically diagnosed through a combination of imaging tests, such as an abdominal CT scan or an abdominal ultrasound. A biopsy may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for gallbladder cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of these treatments. Your doctor will recommend the best treatment plan based on your age, overall health, and the stage and type of gallbladder cancer.