Gallbladder Cancer Treatment

Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease in which cancerous cells are formed in the gallbladder. Gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ present in the right side of abdomen below the liver. It stores bile juice secreted by the liver. Cancer of the gallbladder develops when the cells of gallbladder develop changes (mutations) in the DNA (gene). If treated at earlier stages, there is a chance for cure.

Gallbladder Cancer Treatment

Gallbladder cancer is treated based on the stage of the cancer and the health condition of the patient. The aim of the treatment is to eliminate the gallbladder cancer bur it would be impossible. There are therapies that would control the spread of the cancerous cells.

Surgical Treatment for Early-stage Gallbladder Cancers

If the gallbladder cancer is detected in the early stages, the doctor would suggest the following surgeries.

  • Removal of Gallbladder –

    Gallbladder that develops cancer is operated and removed by a surgical method called cholecystectomy.

  • Removal of Gallbladder and a Portion of Liver –

    Gallbladder cancer when it spreads into the liver is quite dangerous. The liver and the associated bile ducts are affected sometimes. In this case, the gallbladder and the portion of the affected liver is removed.

In some instances, the doctor performs radiation therapy or chemotherapy or both therapies additional to the surgical treatment. But there are no chances that the gallbladder cancer won’t return again.

Treatments for the Late-stage Gallbladder Cancers

If the gallbladder cancers are detected at the late stages, surgery will not help in treating the condition. Doctors may suggest any of the following treatments that help in relieving the symptoms of cancer and make the person feel comfortable. The treatment methods include:

  • Radiation therapy –

    In this treatment, high powered energy beams such as X-rays are used to destroy the cancerous cells.

  • Chemotherapy –

    This treatment uses chemicals in the form of drugs to kill the cancerous cells.

  • Methods to relieve Blocked bile ducts –

    Gallbladder cancer in its later stages causes blockage in the bile ducts. This would lead to serious complications. In this case, the doctor performs a method that would help to relieve from the condition. A hollow stent (tube) is inserted into the duct to hold it open. The other method is biliary bypass i.e rerouting the bile ducts around the blockage.

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