Gallbladder Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis, Stages, and Treatment: Gallbladder cancer is one of the rare diseases in which the malignant cancer cells are found in the tissues or cells of the gallbladder. It arises in the setting of the chronic inflammation. In this article, we will explain Gallbladder Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis, Stages, and Treatment.
Gallbladder Cancer Symptoms
If the cancer is found at an earlier stage, treatment might be more effective.
Some of the more common symptoms of gallbladder cancer are:-
- Abdominal pain
- Lumps in the belly
Laboratory studies:- liver function tests, carcinoembryonic antigen assay (CEA assay), CA 19-9 assay.
The process which is used to find out if the cancer cells have spread within and around the gallbladder is called staging. The tests and procedures to detect the gallbladder cancer include- physical examination and history, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography ( the most important diagnostic method), CT- scan, ultrasonography, blood chemistry tests, abdominal ultrasound, percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography, chest X-ray, laparoscopy, biopsy and finally the surgery.
Sex (women are more prone), age(elderly are more affected), gallstones in the past or other gallbladder diseases and conditions.
STAGES OF GALLBLADDER CANCER:–
There are 4 stages of gallbladder cancer:-
At this stage of gallbladder cancer, it is confined only to the inner layers of the organ.
At this stage, cancer grows and invade the outer layers of the gallbladder.
STAGE III A:–
At this stage, the gallbladder cancer has grown enough to invade other nearby organs such as liver, stomach, small intestine, colon, pancreas.
STAGE III B:–
At this stage, cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and even beyond the inner layer of the gallbladder to a layer of tissue with blood vessels or to the muscle layer or beyond the muscle layer to the connective tissue around the muscle or through the thin layers of tissue that cover the gallbladder or to the liver or to one nearby organ.
This stage of gallbladder cancer includes large tumors that may involve more than one organ nearby and of various sizes that spread to distant parts of the body. Cancer has spread to a main blood vessel of the liver or to 2 or more organs nearby.
STAGE IV B:-
Cancer spread to either lymph nodes along long arteries in the abdomen or near the lower part of the backbone.
The treatment used for gallbladder cancer depends on the stage of cancer.
- Surgery for early-stage gallbladder cancer:- Cholecystectomy (Early stage of gallbladder cancer that is confined only to the gallbladder is treated with an operation to remove the gallbladder).
- Surgery to remove the gallbladder and a portion of the liver.
- Treatments for late-stage gallbladder cancer:- Surgery can’t cure gallbladder cancer completely if it has spread to other parts of the body. So, the other options are:-
- Radiation therapy
- Clinical trials
- Palliative therapy
These are the points as mentioned above Gallbladder Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis, Stages, and Treatment.