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The gall bladder is a small pear-shaped organ that stores the bile produced by the liver to help digest the fats. Gall bladder cancer is a rare disease. The chances of cure are high when it is detected in the early stages. Unfortunately, it is difficult to diagnose gall bladder cancer, as it often does not produce any signs and symptoms.
The signs and symptoms of gall bladder cancer are presented at the later or advanced stages, which includes:
• Pain above the stomach
• Pale stools
• Lumps in the abdomen
Causes and Risk factors
The exact cause of gall bladder cancer is not clear. However, many factors increase the risk of developing gall bladder cancer
Age: gall bladder cancer is common in the people who are above 70 years of age.
Gall stones: The chance of developing gall bladder cancer is high in people who had a history of gall stones or cholecystitis.
Polyps: Polyps are benign tumors that increase the risk of developing gall bladder cancer.
Obesity: Obese people have a greater risk of developing gall bladder cancer.
Family history: The risk of developing gall bladder cancer is slightly higher if the close relatives have a gall bladder cancer.
Laboratory studies that are helpful in diagnosing gallbladder cancer include:
The treatment options depend on numerous factors such as size and position of the tumor, stage of cancer, and general health.
Open cholecystectomy is a procedure performed in the early stages of gall bladder cancer to remove the gall bladder.
Radical cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed when cancer has metastasized to other surrounding areas. Unlike open cholecystectomy, it removes the gall bladder, lymph nodes and the surrounding tissues and other surrounding parts that are affected by cancer.
Radiotherapy uses high-energy radiations to destroy the cancer cells. The radiations are given externally with the help of radiotherapy machine or internally by placing the radioactive material near the tumor. Radiotherapy is also useful for relieving the symptoms of cancer mostly in advanced stages.
Chemotherapy is used to destroy the cancer cells with the help of cytotoxic drugs. Chemotherapy can be given after the surgery if the surgery did not remove the cancer cells completely. It is also reserved for the patients in whom the surgery is contraindicated or in cases where the cancer has relapsed.
In case of any blockage of the bile ducts, the doctor inserts a small stent during an ERCP. This helps relieve jaundice without surgery. The stents must be replaced every 3 to 4 months.
Coping and support
You may feel depressed and difficult while coping with the diagnosis of gall bladder cancer, physically and emotionally. It may panic and confuse you. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be patient and get the apt information about your cancer type and check for the means and approaches on how to hit it.
Early detection of cancer and prompt surgical approach will surely lead to better outcomes
This video is an informative animated presentation that explains in detail about Stem cell therapy. Stem cell transplant is a procedure that uses stem cells to treat a disease or condition. Currently, stem cell therapy only treats diseases and cancers of the blood.
This video discusses the HIPEC treatment used to fight Cancer in the abdominal cavity. First the doctors perform a cytoreductive surgery to remove tumors. All visible tumors on the liver, stomach, small intestines, colon, rectum, uterus, and ovaries.
Watch the video by Dr. Somashekhar S P to know the role of HIPEC in advanced ovarian and colorectal cancer. HIPEC treatment along with cytoreductive surgery can increase the chance of survival in the patients who are suffering from advanced colorectal cancer. However, the combination of these two procedures is the only treatment option for advanced ovarian cancer.
Few of the differences between HIPEC and IV/ Oral chemotherapy are: HIPEC: â€¢ HIPEC is a kind of chemotherapy that is used directly to peritoneum, whereas, oral/IV chemotherapy is used through oral or veins. â€¢ HIPEC requires single dose, whereas, oral/IV requires multiple doses orally or intravenously. â€¢ Unlike oral, there is not any systematic toxicity in HIPEC. Watch the video by Dr. Somshekhar S P to know how HIPEC is different from intravenous or oral chemotherapy
HIPEC is a method of cancer cure that works mainly in the peritoneal cavity What kind of cancers can be cured by HIPEC? The types of cancers and conditions it can be used to cure are: Mesothelioma Ovarian Cancer Colorectal cancers with peritoneal spread. HIPEC can also be sued for other carcinomas with a peritoneal spread as it functions mainly in the peritoneal cavity.
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