Gallbladder Cancer: 10 Important Things You Should Know About the Disease

Gallbladder cancer is a rare cancer that begins in the gallbladder. Also called gallbladder adenocarcinoma it usually forms because of untreated gallstones left in the gallbladder. These ultimately grow larger and become tumors that grow out of control and spread to other parts of the body. Tumors could be benign or malignant in which case a benign tumor will not spread.

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1About your gallbladder

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that is located beneath the liver. It consists of 3 main layers of tissue like the mucosa, which is the innermost layer covering the wall of the gallbladder, the middle layer of smooth muscle called the musclaris and the serosa which is the outer layer. The function of the gall bladder is to store bile that is produced by the liver to digest fat.

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2How prevalent is gallbladder cancer?

Gallbladder cancer is considered rare and an uncommon form of cancer. Gallstones can lead to gallbladder cancer if not removed, thus the risk of cancer from gallstones is low. However, in other cases gallbladder cancer forms undetected which is why it is diagnosed only in later stages making the prognosis very poor. There are no common early signs of gallbladder cancer which is why gallbladder cancer finds it easy to grow undiagnosed and undetected. Primary gallbladder cancer begins in the inner layer and spreads to the outer layers. It can spread to surrounding tissue and affect neighboring organs.

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3Gallbladder cancer Symptoms

While in most cases there are no gallbladder symptoms making the disease go undetected, there usual signs of gallbladder cancer are:

  • Pain in the abdomen usually in the right upper area
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Fever, nausea, heartburn and vomiting
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Skin and eyes yellowing, jaundice
  • Abdominal pain, particularly in the upper right portion of the abdomen
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Fever

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