What is gallbladder cancer?
Although gallbladder cancer is rare, affecting less than a thousand Australians each year, due to the discreet positioning of the gallbladder and it’s small size, it often goes undetected. Discovered early, the prognosis for gallbladder cancer recovery is very good, but when discovered at a later stage the prognosis is unfortunately often poor.
Gallbladder cancer may not be discovered until it has advanced as it does not have any specific signs or symptoms.
Gallbladder Cancer - symptoms
- Abdominal pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen
- Unexpected weight loss
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Gender – gallbladder cancer is more common in women.
- Age – the risk increases as you age, with gallbladder cancer being most common in those aged 65+.
- History of gallstones – if you have a history of gallstones you are more likely to be diagnosed with gallbladder cancer.
- Bile duct inflammation – this also increases the risk of gallbladder cancer.
Gallbladder Cancer - diagnosis
- Blood tests
- CT Scan
- Diagnostic laparoscopy
- Rarely biopsy
Gallbladder Cancer Treatment
Once diagnosed, your doctor will discuss the best treatment options for your cancer. Treatment options will depend on the type of cancer, whether the cancer has spread, while considering you age, fitness and general overall health.
The main treatments for gallbladder cancer include gallbladder cancer surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, given alone or in combination.