Gallbladder cancer is cancer that begins in the gallbladder. Gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. The gallbladder stores bile, a digestive fluid produced by your liver. But most gallbladder cancers are discovered at a late stage, when the prognosis is often very poor. Gallbladder cancer is difficult to diagnose because it often causes no specific signs or symptoms.
Gallbladder cancer arises in the setting of chronic inflammation. In the vast majority of patients, the source of this chronic inflammation is cholesterol gallstones. The presence of gallstones increases the risk of gallbladder cancer 4 to 5 fold. These causes include primary sclerosing cholangitis, ulcerative colitis, liver flukes, chronic Salmonella typhi and paratyphi infections, and Helicobacter infection.
Surgery is an important treatment for gall bladder cancer. If you have early gall bladder cancer, it may be removed using an open cholecystectomy or a laparotomy. Radiotherapy treats cancer by using high energy x-rays to destroy the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drugs to destroy the cancer cells. Chemotherapy may occasionally be used after surgery.
Gallbladder cancer causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The incidence and Prevalence of this disease is varying among different populations. It is reported that, in Spain, Gallbladder cancer affects 1-4% of the total population. This disease mainly affects the age group of 40-70 years.