Gallbladder & Bile Duct Cancer

The gallbladder stores bile. Bile is a digestive juice secreted by the liver. The gallbladder is a small organ near the liver. Gallbladder and bile duct cancers are seen to be quite rare and can occur outside the liver or inside the liver. They are named extrahepatic tumor and intrahepatic tumors, respectively.

Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer
  • A patient may suffer from Jaundice
  • Severe fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating
  • Fever
  • Swelling, mostly in the legs
  • Conduct Blood Tests
  • Imaging tests such as CT scan, ultrasound, MRCP
  • Laparoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • Endoscopy
  • PET scan
  • Surgery

The surgery that involves removal of the affected gall bladder and, if required, some lymph nodes around it is called Cholecystectomy. The removal of the bile duct is called Bile duct surgery.

  • Partial Hepatectomy

This process is performed on people who suffer from liver or gallbladder cancer. It is called gall bladder resection and involves the removal of cancerous portions of the gall bladder while keeping the healthy sections intact. This procedure has to be performed very skillfully as the gallbladder is an essential organ for a variety of bodily functions.

  • Whipple Procedure:

It is also known as pancreatoduodenectomy. This procedure is used to eliminate extrahepatic bile duct cancer. This operation removes the gallbladder. The surgeon checks if the cancerous cells have spread beyond the gallbladder. If required, the surgeon removes part of the stomach, small intestine, the bile duct, and part of the pancreas.

  •  Minimally Invasive Treatments

 It is recommended patients go for an early screening if they have some symptoms so they can be treated with image-guided procedures. In these procedures, the doctors drain the bile from the gallbladder or clear the bile duct that is blocked by a tumor. But patients need to be aware that these procedures cannot cure cancer but relieve symptoms caused by it.

  • Chemotherapy

 If gallbladder cancer spreads to other areas after surgery, chemotherapy techniques are advised to reduce the tumors.

  • Radiation Therapy

Along with the above techniques, radiation therapy may be administered to facilitate better chances of healing.

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