Gall bladder Cancer

1. What are causes of gall bladder cancer?

Known causative factors for gall bladder cancer are

  • Gall Stones
  • Gall bladder Polyps
  • Porclein gall bladder
  • Obesity
  • Old age
  • Choledochal cyst
  • Abnormalities of union of bile and pancreatic duct
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Ethnicity
  • People residing in high-risk area eg., Chile, along plains of river Ganges etc.

2. What are signs and symptoms of gall bladder cancer?

Gall bladder cancer can present with very non-specific signs and symptoms. Majority times it is
detected incidentally on imaging. Patient may present with

  • Pain
  • Jaundice
  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of appetite
  • Distension of abdomen

3. How can gall bladder cancer be detected?

Gall bladder cancer usually are detected on imaging. Ultrasound abdomen is first lie of
investigation that can show irregular thickening of gall baldder wall. These findings are
confirmed by multiphasic CECT abdomen that can show condition of gall bladder and
surrounding enlarged lymph nodes.

4. Are gall bladder polyps cancerous?

Small gall bladder polyps are non cancerous. Any polyp larger than 1 cm in size harbour
higher chances of malignancy and is an indication of surgery.

5. How can gall bladder cancer be prevented?

Gall bladder cancer cannot be prevented . There are no ways by which gallbladder cancer can be prevented except for prophylactic cholecystectomy in area of high endemicity eg., Chile ,
where prophylactic cholecystectomy had been shown to decrease incident of gall bladder

6. What is treatment of gall bladder cancer?

Main treatment of gall bladder cancer is surgery is it is feasible. Complete resection of gall
bladder cancer is the only chance of providing long term survival. Usually majority of patients
present with advanced disease that cannot be resected and can be offered palliative treatment
only. Resectability if usually assessed best by liver/gastrointestinal surgeon who is experienced
in liver surgery. Assessment by liver surgeon can make advanced disease resectable by proper
planning with help of interventional radiologist. Chemotherapy has a role in pallative setting or
after resection of tumor by surgery.

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