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Gallbladder Cancer

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   4 min     


What is Gallbladder Cancer?

A bladder is a small, pear-shaped organ in your pelvic area that stores urine. It is located on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. It is the hollow, muscular organ in your lower abdomen.

Bladder cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that begins in the bladder. Bladder cancer can affect older adults, though it can occur at any age. Bladder cancer starts most frequently in the cells that line the inside of the bladder.

When bladder cancer is diagnosed at its earliest stage, there are excellent chances to cure it. However, even early-stage bladder cancer possibly recurs. For this reason for years after treatment to look for bladder cancer recurrence, bladder cancer survivors often undertake follow-up tests. But, most bladder cancers are usually discovered at the last stage and in this stage, the prognosis is very poor.

It is challenging to diagnose cancer in gallbladder because it causes no particular signs. Besides, since the gallbladder is relatively hidden in nature, and this makes it easier for cancer to develop in the organ without any detection.

What are the Symptoms of Bladder Cancer? 

The most common symptoms of bladder cancer may include:

  • Frequent and painful urination

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria) — urine may appear cola-coloured or bright red. Or urine may seem reasonable, but blood may be observed in a microscopic examination of the urine

  • Pelvic pain

  • Back pain

  • Abdominal pain, mainly in the upper portion of the abdomen

  • Abdominal bloating

  • Weight loss

  • Nausea

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

What Causes of Gallbladder?

Like all cancers, bladder cancer is also caused due to the abnormal proliferation of cells. This happens when there is a mutation in a DNA which results in damaging the genes responsible for stopping the cells from dividing. The abnormal cell growth can form a tumour which is either malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous).

Several factors result in gallbladder cancer, and some of these factors are:

  • Parasitic infections

  • Smoking

  • Chewing tobacco

  • Exposure to chemicals

  • Exposure to radiation

  • Chronic irritation on the lining of the bladder

Risk Factors of Gallbladder Cancer

Certain risk factors are associated with cancer in the gallbladder. Some of these risk factors are:

  • Sex: Women have a higher risk of developing gallbladder cancer than men.

  • Age: As age increases, the risk of developing cancer in the bladder also increases.

  • A history of Gallstones: This cancer more commonly grows in people who have had stones in the gallbladder in the past.

  • Other diseases and conditions of Gallbladder: Several other gallbladder conditions can increase the risk of developing bladder cancer. Some of these conditions include gallbladder polyps and gallbladder infection.

Types of Gallbladder Cancer

There is a different type of cells present in the bladder. Depending on the type of cells that becomes cancerous, bladder cancer is of various kinds. They are:

  • Urothelial carcinoma: It is also known as transitional cell carcinoma. Here, the tumour occurs in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. It is the most common type of bladder cancer.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: Infection or from long-term use of the urinary catheter is the primary cause of squamous cell carcinoma. It is a rare type of cancer that irritates the bladder.

  • Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma is a rare type of cancer. It begins in the cells that make up mucus-secreting glands in the bladder.

Diagnosis for Bladder Cancer

There are some ways to diagnose bladder cancer; few of them are:

  • Chest X-rays

  • Computerized tomography (CT) urogram

  • Bone scan

  • Cystoscopy

  • CT scan

  • Urine cytology

  • MRI

  • Biopsy

Stages of Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is treated depending on the stage of the tumour:

Stage 0 and Stage 1 is treated with:

  • Surgery: To remove cancer from the bladder

  • Chemotherapy: Use of medication (orally or intravenously) to kill the cancer cells (fast-dividing cells).

  • Immunotherapy: Us of drugs that cause the immune system to attack the cancer cells.

Stage 2 and Stage 3 is treated with:

  • Surgery: Surgery is opted to remove the tumour from the bladder followed by a chemotherapy session

  • Radical Cystectomy: Radical cystectomy (removing the entire uterus) followed by surgery

  • Chemotherapy: Use of medication (orally or intravenously) to kill the cancer cells (fast-dividing cells).

  • Radiation therapy: Use of radiation to kill the cancer cells

  • Immunotherapy: Us of drugs that cause the immune system to attack the cancer cells.

Stage 4 cancer is treated with:

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy to relieve the symptoms (not followed by surgery)

  • Radical Cystectomy: Radical cystectomy to remove the surrounding lymph nodes, which is often accompanied by an operation

  • Therapies: Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy after surgery to relieve symptoms.

  • Clinical Drugs: Clinical trial drugs to increase the life expectancy

Who is at risk?

Over ten thousand people are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year, making it one of the most common diseases globally. Bladder cancer is seen as more common in older adults (above the age of 60), and it is also more common in men than in women. This is said so because it is assumed that in the past, men were more likely to smoke and work in the factories.

When to See a Doctor?

You need to visit your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that trouble you, such as blood in your urine.

Talk to your doctor for more information. You can even find one here on Medikoe. Find an experienced and certified healthcare specialist near you on Medikoe answer all your questions.

Tags:  cancer,gallbladder cancer, bladder cancer, cancer, tumour

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