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Gallbladder Cancer Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is a Gallbladder Cancer?

Gallbladder cancer is cancer that begins in the gallbladder. If it is diagnosed early enough, it can be cured by removing the gallbladder, part of the liver and associated lymph nodes.
It is a rare cancer that is thought to be related to gallstones building up, which also can lead to calcification of the gallbladder, a condition known as porcelain gallbladder.
Gallbladder cancer is difficult to diagnose because it often causes no specific signs or symptoms.
Also, the relatively hidden nature of the gallbladder makes it easier for gallbladder cancer to grow without being detected.

Causes Of Gallbladder Cancer:

In gallbladder cancer, abnormal cells grow within the gallbladder. It’s not known why this happens, but certain factors are thought to increase the chances of developing the condition.
Doctors know that gallbladder cancer forms when healthy gallbladder cells develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. These mutations cause cells to grow out of control and to continue living when other cells would normally die. The accumulating cells form a tumor that can grow beyond the gallbladder and spread to other areas of the body.

Risk factors Of Gallbladder Cancer:

  •     Gender
        Approximately twice more common in women than men, usually in seventh and eighth decades.
  •     Obesity increases the risk for gallbladder cancer.
  •     Chronic cholecystitis and cholelithiasis.
  •     Chronic typhoid infection of gallbladder.
        Chronic Salmonella typhi carriers have 3 to 200 time’s higher risk of gallbladder cancer than non-carriers and 1–6% lifetime risk of development of cancer.
  •     Various single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been shown to be associated with gallbladder cancer.

Symptoms Of Gallbladder Cancer:

Early symptoms of gallbladder cancer mimic gallbladder inflammation due to gallstones. Later, the symptoms may be that of biliary and stomach obstruction.
Signs and symptoms may include:

  •     Steady pain in the upper right abdomen
  •     Weakness
  •     Loss of appetite
  •     Weight loss
  •     Jaundice and vomiting due to obstruction
  •     Abdominal bloating
  •     Itchiness
  •     Fever
  •     Nausea

Diagnosis Of Gallbladder Cancer:

The following tests help in diagnosing gallbladder cancer:

  •     Blood tests, to evaluate liver function may help doctors determine what’s causing the signs and symptoms.
  •     Procedures to create images of the gallbladder
    Computerized tomography (CT)
    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

In order to determine the extent of the cancer, the following tests and procedures are conducted:

  •     Exploratory surgery, to examine organs surrounding the gallbladder for signs that the cancer has spread.
  •     Tests to examine the bile ducts, to detect blockages in the bile ducts.
    endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
    magnetic resonance cholangiography
    Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography.
  •     Additional imaging tests.
    CT of the chest and abdomen
    MRI of the liver
    Positron emission tomography.

Treatment Of Gallbladder Cancer:

Treatment depends upon the stage of gallbladder cancer.

  •     Early stages of gallbladder cancer
    Surgery to remove the gallbladder.
    Surgery to remove the gallbladder and a portion of the liver.
  •     Late stages of gallbladder cancer
    Radiation therapy.
    Clinical trials


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By : Natural Health News

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