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Gallbladder cancer: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis

Gallbladder cancer: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis

Gallbladder cancer is a malignant neoplasm that develops from the tissues of the gallbladder. The most common cancer is carcinoma, and in rare cases, small cell gallbladder cancer. The disease is rarely diagnosed, but it poses a serious danger to the health and life of the patient, since in most cases it is detected too late. More often women suffer from pathology.

Causes and risk factors
If gallbladder cancer is diagnosed, the causes in most cases lie in organ diseases (gallstone disease, chronic cholecystitis). Polyps, cysts, calcification, infectious diseases (salmonellosis, etc.) can also provoke a tumor.

Risk factors include:

chronic diseases of the gallbladder and liver;
alcohol abuse;
frequent contact with chemical carcinogens (work in a hazardous enterprise);
unhealthy diet (eating fatty, fried foods);
Symptoms of the disease
The first signs of gallbladder cancer are no different from the symptoms of other organ diseases. This usually complicates the early diagnosis of a malignant tumor. Often, oncology is completely discovered by chance during diagnostic procedures.

The most common symptoms of gallbladder cancer are:

pain in the right hypochondrium;
the appearance of jaundice (biliousness of the skin and eyes);
frequent nausea and vomiting;
increased body temperature;
itchy skin;
discoloration of feces and urine.
As he becomes involved in the tumor process, liver failure increases, which is manifested by lethargy, lethargy and other symptoms.

Stages of development
A malignant neoplasm develops in a certain sequence:

The first stage – malignant cells affect only the mucous layer of the organ, the tumor does not grow into the muscle membrane.
The second stage – the tumor process affects the muscle layer, but does not spread to other organs.
The third stage – the neoplasm grows outside the gallbladder, and malignant cells affect the lymph nodes.
The fourth stage – the tumor has spread to the liver, there are also distant metastases.
Many patients are interested in how to define oncology, because it has similar symptoms with other diseases. That is why an integrated approach is used in diagnostics. Often, the examination begins with an ultrasound of the abdominal cavity. The study helps to detect the neoplasm and its localization, but the key role is played by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Also, various laboratory tests are necessarily carried out, including an analysis for tumor markers of gallbladder cancer.

How is the treatment carried out?
If gallbladder cancer is detected, treatment is selected individually, depending on the stage of the disease. In most cases, surgery is used. Often not only the gallbladder is removed, but also the tissues that surround it, in particular, part of the liver, lymph nodes.

Treatment for bile duct cancer also usually begins with surgery. Additionally, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used. For unresectable cancer, treatment is aimed at clearing the jaundice and relieving symptoms.

The prognosis for such a disease is disappointing, since with late detection of a tumor, the survival rate within 5 years does not exceed 25-30%.