Are You Aware Of Gallbladder Diet Post Gallbladder Surgery

Medpho Team March 29, 2023

gallblader cancer

You have gallbladder cancer if cancerous cells develop in that organ. Cancer may stay in your gallbladder or spread to other body organs. You are more at risk of gallbladder cancer if you are older and a member of specific ethnic groups. 

Survival statistics are lower the further the cancer is in its stages.

What is Gallbladder Cancer?

Gallbladder cancer develops when cancer cells proliferate in your gallbladder, a pear-shaped organ located under your liver in your upper abdomen (belly).

There are four tissue layers covering the outside of your gallbladder:

  • The internal layer (mucosal layer)
  • The muscle layer
  • The connective tissue layer
  • The outer layer (serosal layer)

Gallbladder cancer spreads from the mucosal layer where it first appears. It is frequently discovered by accident following gallbladder removal surgery or is not diagnosed until it has advanced to a late stage.

What are the stages of gallbladder cancer?

One of the main concerns about cancer is whether cancer has spread (metastasized) beyond its original location. To determine the amount of spreading, your doctor will assign a number to the diagnosis. 

The process is referred to as staging; the higher the number, the more widely cancer has spread throughout your body. The gallbladder cancer stages are:

  • Stage 0 (also called as carcinoma in situ): The cancer is spread to the mucosal layer of the gallbladder.
  • Stage 1: Cancer has spread up to the muscle layer.
  • Stage 2: Cancer has spread beyond the muscle layer to the connective tissue layer.
  • Stage 3: Cancer has moved to the liver to organs near it, or the outer layer (serosal) and possibly to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 4: Cancer has moved to more than three neighbouring lymph nodes, close-by blood vessels, and organs that are positioned distant from the gallbladder.

Who has a higher risk of having gallbladder cancer?

Gallbladder cancer is more likely to affect women than men. You are also more likely if you belong to a certain ethnic group:

  • American Indian
  • Asian American
  • An Alaskan native
  • Black

higher risk of having gallbladder cancer

You are also more likely if you are:

  • A cigarette smoker.
  • Exposed to substances used in the rubber and textile sectors.
  • Identified with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).
  • Having cysts in your common bile duct.
  • Older. The typical diagnostic age is 72.
  • Obese.
  • Having gallbladder polyps, inflammation, and/or infections.
  • Contaminated with salmonella.
  • Consuming an unhealthy diet.

If you have gallstones, that doesn't mean you'll have gallbladder cancer, but it does increase your risk.

What symptoms indicate gallbladder cancer?

Gallbladder cancer is complex to detect early on because of the absence of visible signs and because, when symptoms do exist, they are similar to those of other, less serious illnesses.

In addition, the gallbladder's position makes it more difficult to diagnose cancer. The following signs of gallbladder cancer could exist:

  • Jaundice (yellowed skin and whites of your eyes)
  • Discomfort above the stomach area
  • Fever
  • Vomiting and Nausea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Stomach lumps

What are the different types of Gallbladder Cancers?

The type of gallbladder cancer determines the type of cell where cancer started. Many varieties of cells in the gallbladder develop distinct forms of gallbladder cancer types.

Pathologists can identify the type of gallbladder cancer by examining tumour cells under a microscope.

Gallbladder Adenocarcinoma

About 90% of gallbladder cancer cases are adenocarcinomas. The cells that cover the interior of the gallbladder and resemble glands are where this expansion starts.

The gallbladder has three different forms of adenocarcinoma:

  • Nonpapillary adenocarcinoma
  • Papillary adenocarcinoma
  • Mucinous adenocarcinoma

The most prevalent kind is non papillary adenocarcinoma.

Papillary adenocarcinoma is rare and less prone to spread to the liver and surrounding lymph nodes.

Patients with this type of gallbladder cancer have a better outlook than most people with gallbladder adenocarcinoma.

Even more uncommon is mucinous adenocarcinoma. The cells that make mucin, the main component of mucus, are where it starts.

Other Gallbladder Types

There are a few uncommon forms of gallbladder cancer. They include:

  • Adenosquamous carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Carcinosarcoma

These begin in several types of cells in the gallbladder. They are often more aggressive than adenocarcinoma of the gallbladder.

How is gallbladder cancer diagnosed?

Because there are rarely early signs or symptoms in the early stages, and those symptoms resemble other disorders, gallbladder cancer is often diagnosed late. It is usually identified because you have gallstones removed or need your gallbladder removed.

Your doctor will analyse you and ask about your medical history if they believe you may have gallbladder cancer. Then, your provider will do additional testing, such as:

Lab Tests:

  • Blood chemistries: Determines the levels of particular types of substances in your blood, including those that may indicate cancer.
  • Liver function test: Measures the levels of specific substances generated by your liver, which may indicate that your liver has been impacted by gallbladder cancer.
  • Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) assay: Calculates the levels of CEA (a tumour marker released by both healthy and cancerous cells).
  • CA 19-9 assay: Checks the levels of the tumour marker, CA 19-9, in your blood. This chemical is released by both healthy and cancerous cells. Higher levels could indicate the sign of gallbladder or pancreatic cancer.

Imaging tests:

  • Abdominal Ultrasonography: Utilizes sound waves to produce images of the organs inside your abdomen using abdominal ultrasonography.
  • CT Scan: A type of X-ray that produces finely detailed images of inside organs is a CT (or CAT) scan.
  • Chest X-ray
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI is a process that uses a magnet, radiowaves, and a computer to make an image of the interior of the body.
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): Using an X-ray method called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, images of the bile ducts are captured. These channels may become more constricted due to gallbladder cancer.
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound

Other Tests

Biopsy: Biopsy is a technique in which tissues or cells are taken out and put under a microscope to check for malignancy.

Laparoscopy: A surgical technique in which your belly is punctured with a tiny incision, and a laparoscope, a thin, lighted tube, is introduced to allow a view inside your body.


Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease. If you notice the symptoms, make sure to visit your healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Remember that whereas other cancers may exhibit early warning signs, gallbladder cancer may not become apparent until it is far advanced.

It is essential to receive treatment as soon as you can.

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