Gallbladder cancer is an uncommon form of the deadly disease in which malignant cancerous cells develop the tissues of the wall of the gallbladder.  The gallbladder’s wall has 3 main layers of tissues: mucosal (innermost) layer, muscularis (middle muscular) layer and serosal (outermost) layer. Amidst these three layers, there is a supporting connecting tissue. Gallbladder cancer begins in the innermost layer and advances through the outer layers as it develops.

RISK FACTORS

Risk factor is something which increases a person’s chances of getting any disease. The risk factors for gallbladder cancer comprise of gender, age, nativity and obesity

Gender:  Gallbladder cancer is about five times more common in women than in men.

Age: This type of cancer is mostly known to affect people in the age groups of 50 and 60 years.

Nativity: Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease and its occurrence shows bizarre racial and geographical variations. This type of cancer is mostly found in people living in Central and Eastern Europe, Central and South America, Japan and Northern India. It is found in certain ethnic groups also, such as the Native Americans and Hispanics. In recent times, the cases of the occurrence of gallbladder cancer are increasing at an alarming rate in China and North and Central India.

Obesity: Obesity is also known to be one of the risk factors for the occurrence of gallbladder cancer.

SYMPTOMS

A symptom may be defined as a physical or mental feature which is considered as a sign of the presence of something, indicating a condition of disease. The possible signs and symptoms of gallbladder cancer include: fever, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, steady pain in the upper right abdomen, jaundice and vomiting due to obstruction in the digestive tract, bloating and lumps in the abdomen.

Some of these symptoms may also be caused by other problems such as gallbladder stones and biliary and stomach obstruction. Hence, a doctor must be consulted if any of these symptoms are seen in a patient.

There are 5 stages of gallbladder cancer and a proper understanding and diagnosis of a cancer patient’s current stage of the disease might help in choosing the proper course of treatment. There are various treatment options for gallbladder cancer, which include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or a combination of these. The most effective treatment for this disease is the surgical removal of the gallbladder.