Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Gallbladder Cancer Overview

What is gallbladder cancer?
A person with gallbladder cancer has a growth of abnormal cells in the gallbladder that multiply out of control. Gallbladder cancer cells can form tumors and spread to other parts of the body. Gallbladder cancer is very rare: only about 5,000 adults in the US each year get diagnosed with gallbladder cancer. The exact cause of gallbladder cancer is unknown, but genetics probably a role in determining risk.

What are the symptoms of gallbladder cancer?
Gallbladder cancer is a rare cancer that usually does not show symptoms in the early stages. This can make it very difficult to diagnose early in the disease. When symptoms do develop, they include right-upper abdominal pain, vomiting, jaundice, loss of appetite, itching, and weight loss.

How does the doctor treat gallbladder cancer?
Treatment for gallbladder cancer generally includes some combination of surgery (to remove the gallbladder) combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Continue to Gallbladder Cancer Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Gallbladder Cancer References
  1. Larsson SC, Wolk A. Obesity and the risk of gallbladder cancer: a meta-analysis. Br J Cancer. 2007 May 7;96(9):1457-61. Epub 2007 Mar 20. [17375043]
  2. Miller G, Jarnagin WR. Gallbladder carcinoma. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2008 Mar;34(3):306-12. Epub 2007 Oct 26. Review. [17964753]
  3. Reid KM, Ramos-De la Medina A, Donohue JH. Diagnosis and surgical management of gallbladder cancer: a review. J Gastrointest Surg. 2007 May;11(5):671-81. [17468929]
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