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Gallbladder cancer is a rare form of cancer that makes up less than 1% of cancer cases diagnosed each year. At Mercy, we’re here to help find the best treatment plan for your needs. We have a team of cancer experts who are ready to answer questions, treat symptoms and provide support along the way.
Gallbladder cancer is a type of digestive cancer, as the gallbladder is part of the digestive system. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ. It sits beneath your liver on the right side of your abdomen and stores a substance called bile that helps your body digest the fats in food. If cells within your gallbladder begin to grow abnormally, they can form a cancerous tumor. Most gallbladder cancer starts in the cells that line the inside of the gallbladder.
Most gallbladder cancers are adenocarcinomas which are cancerous tumors that form in the gland cells inside the gallbladder. Adenocarcinomas make up 90% of gallbladder cancer cases.
A subtype of gallbladder cancer is papillary adenocarcinoma, which forms in the connective tissues of the gallbladder. This type of gallbladder cancer often has a more positive prognosis since papillary cancers are less likely to spread to other organs making them easier to treat.
What causes gallbladder cancer is unknown, however, there are many factors that can cause chronic inflammation which is linked to a greater risk of gallbladder cancer.
There are several conditions that increase the risk of gallbladder cancer. Risk factors include:
Generally, gallbladder cancer symptoms are difficult to pinpoint until the disease has advanced however signs may appear sooner, in some cases. When gallbladder cancer is caught early, it’s highly treatable. Talk to your Mercy doctor right away if you have unusual abdominal pain or any of the symptoms listed below.
Gallbladder cancer signs and symptoms may include:
There's no known way to prevent gallbladder cancer but there are some things you can do that can help lower your risk.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of gallbladder cancer, it can be overwhelming. Mercy is here to help you return to living your best life, and our team will provide you with the best care possible.
Learn about gallbladder cancer diagnostic tests & treatment options.
At Mercy, we offer comprehensive testing services to diagnose all types of gallbladder cancer, including:
At Mercy, we offer compassionate care for a variety of gallbladder cancer treatment services, including: