Gallbladder Cancer - Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms & Treatment
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped bag made of muscle and is located under the liver. The bile produced by the liver is collected in small canaliculi and goes into the main bile duct. The bile duct gives a branch to the side before it reaches the duodenum, and this branch goes to the gallbladder. Thus, little and continuous bile produced by the liver accumulates in this bag. The purpose of the gallbladder is to store the bile produced by the liver temporarily.
Factors defined as risk factors are those that increase the probability of developing a disease. However, the point that should be mentioned here is that; The fact that a person has one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean that that person will develop that cancer/or disease. Some people have risk factors but do not develop disease/cancer.
The leading cause of gallbladder cancer is unknown. Known risk factors are:
- The presence of stones in the gallbladder for a long time can cause a precancerous lesion in the inner membrane of the bladder due to long-term irritation.
- Advanced age and female gender
The most common symptoms of gallbladder cancer are:
- Abdominal and belly pain
- Nausea, vomiting
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Palpable mass in the umbilical region
The methods and tests used in the diagnosis of gallbladder cancer are as follows;
- In laboratory tests, bilirubin level and alkaline phosphatase were elevated. However, these findings are not sufficient to distinguish it from benign disease.
- Imaging examinations such as MRI, ultrasonography, and/or computed tomography
- "Cholangiography" used to view the biliary tract
- Imaging vessels and bile ducts with specialized techniques such as angiography, ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography).
The treatment of each patient differs, and multiple factors such as the location of the disease, the stage of the disease, the patient's age, and other health problems are effective in the treatment decision. These treatments require a multidisciplinary study; It includes different options such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.
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