Breast Cancer?What is Breast Cancer?Read more...
Bone CancerWhat is Bone Cancer?Read more...
Bladder CancerWhat is Bladder Cancer?Read more...
Blood CancerWhat is Blood Cancer ?Read more...
Cervical CancerWhat is Cervical Cancer ?Read more...
Colon CancerWhat is Colon Cancer?Read more...
Esophageal CancerWhat is Esophageal Cancer?Read more...
Gallbladder CancerWhat is Gallbladder Cancer?Read more...
Gastric CancerWhat is Gastric Cancer?Read more...
Head and Neck CancersWhat are Head and Neck Cancers?Read more...
Hormone TherapyWhat is Hormone Therapy?Read more...
IMRTIntensity Modulated Radiation TherapyRead more...
Kidney CancerWhat is Kidney Cancer?Read more...
Lung CancerWhat is Lung Cancer?Read more...
Liver CancerWhat is Liver Cancer?Read more...
Lymphoma CancerWhat is Lymphoma Cancer?Read more...
Oral CancerWhat is Oral Cancer?Read more...
Ovarian Cancer What is Ovarian Cancer?Read more...
Pancreatic CancerWhat is Pancreatic Cancer?Read more...
Prostate CancerWhat is Prostate Cancer?Read more...
Skin CancerWhat is Skin Cancer?Read more...
Uterine CancerWhat is Uterine Cancer?Read more...
What is Gallbladder Cancer?
Gallbladder cancer is a cancer that starts in the gallbladder. To understand this cancer, it helps to know something about the normal structure and function of the gallbladder.
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ under the right lobe of the liver. Both the liver and the gallbladder are behind the right lower ribs. The gallbladder is usually about 3 to 4 inches long and normally no wider than an inch.
The gallbladder concentrates and stores bile, a fluid made in the liver. Bile helps digest the fats in foods as they pass through the small intestine. Bile is either released from the liver directly into ducts that carry it to the small intestine, or is stored in the gallbladder and released later. When food (especially fatty food) is being digested, the gallbladder contracts and releases bile through a small tube called the cystic duct. The cystic duct joins up with the hepatic duct, which comes from the liver, to form the common bile duct. The common bile duct joins with the main duct from the pancreas (the pancreatic duct) to empty into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
The gallbladder is helpful, but you do not need it to live. Many people have their gallbladders removed and go on to live normal lives.
You may not be able to control every situation and its outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.
GOD didn't add another day in your life because you needed it, he added it because someone out there needs you.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Dear GOD, if today I lose my hope please remind me that your plans are better than my Dream.....
Types of Gallbladder Cancer
Gallbladder cancer has been categorized into different types that depend on the cells affected. A large number of gallbladder cancers are Adenocarcinomas which is considered as the most common type. Adenocarcinomas begin in the gland cells that line the gallbladder. Papillary Adenocarcinomas, also referred to as papillary cancer, is also considered as a type of gallbladder cancer. Other uncommon gallbladder cancers include squamous cell carcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma, sarcomas and small cell carcinomas.
Causes of Gallbladder Cancer
There are no known causes of gallbladder cancer. When there are changes in the DNA of healthy gallbladder cells then it results in the development of gallbladder cancer. These changes result in uncontrollable growth of cells that continue to live instead of dying. The build-up of these cells develops a tumor that can grow beyond the gallbladder and spreads to different body parts.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Cancer
There are no visible symptoms of gallbladder cancer in its early stages. Some of the later symptoms include -
Stages of Gallbladder Cancer
Stage 1 - the cancer affects only the wall of the gall bladder. Approximately 1 in 4 cancers are at this stage when they are diagnosed.
Stage 2 - the cancer has spread through the full thickness of the wall of the gall bladder, but has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or surrounding organs.
Stage 3 - the cancer has spread to lymph nodes close to the gall bladder or has spread to the liver, stomach, colon or the small bowel.
Stage 4 - the cancer has spread very deeply into two or more organs close to the gall bladder or has spread to distant lymph nodes or organs, such the lungs. This is known as metastatic or secondary cancer.
Diagnosis of Gallbladder Cancer
A doctor carefully examines the symptoms and medical history of a patient. A number of tests are performed for diagnosing gallbladder cancer that include -
Physical exam and history - an exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
Liver function tests - a procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by the liver. A higher than normal amount of a substance can be a sign of liver disease that may be caused by gallbladder cancer.
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) assay - a test that measures the level of CEA in the blood. CEA is released into the bloodstream from both cancer cells and normal cells. When found in higher than normal amounts, it can be a sign of gallbladder cancer or other conditions.
CA 19-9 assay - a test that measures the level of CA 19-9 in the blood. CA 19-9 is released into the bloodstream from both cancer cells and normal cells. When found in higher than normal amounts, it can be a sign of gallbladder cancer or other conditions.
Blood chemistry studies - a procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that makes it.
CT scan (CAT scan) - a procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
Ultrasound exam - a procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. An abdominal ultrasound is done to diagnose gallbladder cancer.
PTC (percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography) - a procedure used to x-ray the liver and bile ducts. A thin needle is inserted through the skin below the ribs and into the liver. Dye is injected into the liver or bile ducts and an x-ray is taken. If a blockage is found, a thin, flexible tube called a stent is sometimes left in the liver to drain bile into the small intestine or a collection bag outside the body.
Chest X-ray - an x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) - a procedure used to x-ray the ducts (tubes) that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and from the gallbladder to the small intestine. Sometimes gallbladder cancer causes these ducts to narrow and block or slow the flow of bile, causing jaundice. An endoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is passed through the mouth, esophagus, and stomach into the first part of the small intestine. A catheter (a smaller tube) is then inserted through the endoscope into the bile ducts. A dye is injected through the catheter into the ducts and an x-ray is taken. If the ducts are blocked by a tumor, a fine tube may be inserted into the duct to unblock it. This tube (or stent) may be left in place to keep the duct open. Tissue samples may also be taken.
Laparoscopy - a surgical procedure to look at the organs inside the abdomen to check for signs of disease. Small incisions (cuts) are made in the wall of the abdomen and a laparoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted into one of the incisions. Other instruments may be inserted through the same or other incisions to perform procedures such as removing organs or taking tissue samples for biopsy. The laparoscopy helps to find out if the cancer is within the gallbladder only or has spread to nearby tissues and if it can be removed by surgery.
Biopsy - the removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. The biopsy may be done after surgery to remove the tumor. If the tumor clearly cannot be removed by surgery, the biopsy may be done using a fine needle to remove cells from the tumor.
Treatment of Gallbladder Cancer
The treatment of gallbladder cancer has been categorized into surgical and non-surgical treatments -
Surgery - surgery is considered as the best treatment for gallbladder cancer. A Cholecystectomy operation is performed for removing the gallbladder when the cancer has not spread beyond the wall of the gallbladder. Sometimes it is also required to remove tissues if the cancer has spread beyond the gallbladder. The surgical procedure also helps in relieving the symptoms and also aims at preventing jaundice when the cancer has spread to the nearby tissues such as lymph nodes, liver or stomach. Palliative therapy is the name given to this procedure. A stent may also be inserted in order to drain the bile properly into the digestive system.
Radiotherapy - radiation is used in this therapy for destroying the cancer cells. The shrinking of the tumor is done by targeting a beam of radiation on the cancer cells. This therapy is used for providing relief from the symptoms when there is advanced stage of gallbladder cancer. Remaining cancer cells can also be destroyed by the means of this therapy. Many times chemotherapy is also combined with radiotherapy.
Chemotherapy - chemotherapy is used when the surgery was not able to remove the gallbladder cancer or it has spread to other body part. The goal of this therapy is to slow down the growth of the cancer or to shrink the tumor.
Stent Insertion - the insertion of a small tube is done at the time of ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography) when there is a blockage in the bile duct caused by the gallbladder cancer. This helps in relieving jaundice without performing any surgical procedure.
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions".
"The purpose of our lives is to be happy" - Dalai Lama