The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that lies beneath the liver
and stores bile, a fluid that is involved in the digestive process. Gallbladder
cancer is a relatively rare disease in which cells begin to grow in the
gallbladder in an unregulated manner.
Cancer occurs when cells in the body (in this case gallbladder cells) divide
without control or order. The uncontrolled growth of these cells may result
in a tumor within the gallbladder that often invades surrounding tissue.
Risk Factors for Gallbladder Cancer
The following are the most common risk factors for gallbladder cancer:
- History of gallstones or chronic inflammation of the gallbladder
- Being a female
- Being of Native American or Hispanic descent
- History of Gallbladder polyps
- Anatomic abnormalities of the gallbladder and ducts, including choledochal cysts
Symptoms of Gallbladder Cancer
Often, gallbladder cancer does not cause symptoms during early stages.
However, as the disease progresses, symptoms associated with biliary obstruction
often develop, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Pain in the upper back
- Jaundice (yellowing of the “whites” of the eyes, the skin,
under the tongue)
Other symptoms may include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Liver and spleen enlargement
- Increased abdominal girth
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important
to seek proper evaluation and treatment from a healthcare expert experienced in the
treatment of gallbladder cancer.
Experience You Can Trust!
Hoag-USC Surgical Center for Digestive Diseases continues to lead the way in complex gastrointestinal care, providing access
to a highly specialized surgical team that works collaboratively with
Hoag-affiliated GI and medical oncology specialists. Hoag’s committed to
accurate diagnosis, combined with
progressive therapeutic options enables Hoag patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes
in the nation.
To schedule a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, or a second-opinion
consultation with a Hoag gastrointestinal expert, visit
Meet the Team, or call us at: 888-566-9712.