In vertebrates, the gallbladder is a small hollow organ where bile is stored and concentrated before it is released into the small intestine. In humans, the pear-shaped gallbladder lies beneath the liver, although the structure and position of the gallbladder can vary significantly among animal species.

What Causes Gallbladder Cancer?

Gallbladder cancer is a rare type of cancer that begins in the gallbladder, a small pear-shaped organ located beneath the liver. The gallbladder plays a role in the digestive process by storing and releasing bile, a fluid that helps break down fats. While the exact causes of gallbladder cancer are not fully understood, there are a number of factors that have been linked to an increased risk of developing the disease. 

In this article, we will explore the various risk factors and causes of gallbladder cancer and how the disease is treated. By understanding the potential causes of this disease, individuals can take steps to reduce their risk and protect their overall health.

Causes of gallbladder cancer

The exact causes of gallbladder cancer are not fully understood, but there are several factors that have been linked to its development. One of the most significant risk factors is age, as gallbladder cancer is more common in older adults. Women are also at a higher risk of developing gallbladder cancer than men. Other potential causes of gallbladder cancer include a history of gallstones, chronic inflammation of the gallbladder, and certain genetic mutations. Lifestyle factors, such as a diet high in fat and low in fiber, may also increase the risk of developing gallbladder cancer. In some cases, gallbladder cancer may be linked to other underlying medical conditions, such as primary sclerosing cholangitis or porcelain gallbladder. 

While there is no sure way to prevent gallbladder cancer, individuals can reduce their risk by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing underlying medical conditions, and seeking prompt medical attention if they experience any concerning symptoms.

Gallbladder cancer: early signs and symptoms

Gallbladder cancer can be difficult to detect in its early stages, as it often does not cause noticeable symptoms. However, some individuals may experience early signs of gallbladder cancer, which can include abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea. In some cases, gallbladder cancer may cause jaundice, a condition in which the skin and whites of the eyes become yellowish. 

Other potential symptoms of gallbladder cancer include loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, and fatigue. It is important to note that these symptoms can also be associated with other conditions, so it is essential to consult a healthcare provider if you experience any concerning symptoms. If detected early, gallbladder cancer may be easier to treat, which underscores the importance of regular medical check-ups and cancer screenings.

How is gallbladder cancer treated?

Treatment options for gallbladder cancer depend on several factors, such as the stage of the cancer and the individual’s overall health. Surgery is often the primary treatment for gallbladder cancer, with the goal of removing as much of the cancer as possible. In some cases, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also be used to help shrink tumors before surgery or to kill any remaining cancer cells after surgery. Other treatments for gallbladder cancer may include palliative care to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

The best treatment plan for gallbladder cancer should be individualised and developed in consultation with experienced medical professionals who specialise in cancer care. Our team of consultants at Birmingham HPB Clinic have years of experience treating patients with complex conditions. We can offer state of the art treatments with a personalised approach as well as provide a second opinion for some diagnosis. Contact us today for an expert consultation and to discuss treatment options on 07508747723.