Gall Bladder Cancer
The gallbladder is placed below the liver under the ribcage at the right side of the abdomen. It stores bile, a digestive juice produced in the liver. Gallbladder cancer is very unusual. If it is detected at the early stage probability for a cure is easy.
What is Gallbladder Cancer?
Gallbladder cancer is a very rare disease found in the innermost layer of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a part of the biliary tract together with the bile ducts and the liver. Gallbladder stores bile made by the liver which helps to digest fat. Bile moves from the liver to gallbladder for storage through the bile ducts. It releases bile through the common bile duct. The gallbladder wall consists of three layers:
- The innermost layer that covers the gallbladder wall called the mucosa.
- The smooth middle layer of muscle is named as muscularis.
- The outer layer of the gallbladder is called serosa.
Primary gallbladder cancer is formed in the cells of the innermost layer of the gallbladder.
What are the causes of Gallbladder Cancer?
The very common link among all other risk factors is chronic gallbladder inflammation for causing gallbladder cancer. Researchers are trying to find out as to how the inflammation causes changes in the DNA mutations. However, most of the gallbladder cancer starts in the glandular cells that lining the inner surface of the gallbladder. Following are the factors which may be responsible for occurring gallbladder cancer:
- Gender — females are more likely than males for having gallbladder cancer.
- Age — people above age 70 are at a higher risk of gallbladder cancer.
- Smoking — uses of tobacco increases the probability of gallbladder cancer.
- Gallstones — it is one of the most common associations for gallbladder cancer. About 75-90% of the gallbladder cancer patients have a history of gallstone.
What are the symptoms of Gallbladder Cancer?
Gallbladder cancer normally doesn’t show any symptoms at the early stage. When symptoms exposed, they may include the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of whites of the eyes and body skin)
- A lump in the abdomen
- Vomiting and nausea
What are the treatments for Gallbladder Cancer?
What treatment for gallbladder cancer will be provided depends on the stage of the cancer growth and overall health of the patient. The primary goal of treatment is to remove the gall bladder cancer intoto, but in case it is not possible, other therapies are chosen for palliative care.. Surgery can be an option if it is at the early stage. Surgeries are:
- Removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) —when cancer is at an early stage.
- Removal of gallbladder along with a portion of the liver — when cancer is spread beyond the gallbladder and extends into the liver, gallbladder along with a part of liver also removed.
If gallbladder cancer is at an advanced stage, the treatment options are:
- Chemotherapy — a drug treatment that kills cancer cells
- Radiation therapy — beam of high powered X-rays with protons are used to kill the cancer cells