gallbladder cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation.
If the cancer
is detected at an early stage (stage 1 for example), the tumor can be completely removed surgically; in fact,
total removal of the gallbladder may lead to complete recovery. In most cases, unfortunately, the cancer is
diagnosed at an advanced stage. In this case, surgery is performed to reduce the symptoms and improve life.
If the tumor has already
crossed the mucosa of the gallbladder, it will be removed along with the regional lymph nodes. Furthermore, if
the duodenum, pancreas, and organs close to the gallbladder are also affected, your surgeon will remove them and
do an artificial communication between your stomach and bile ducts.
Surgery is not without side
effects; nearly 20% of patients have diarrhea for a prolonged period after the removal of their gallbladder.
Chemotherapy and radiation
therapy may also be used with the surgery. However, the
effectiveness of chemotherapy in the treatment of gallbladder cancer is rare; it does prove useful for a very
few patients only. Radiotherapy provides practically no results, for gallbladder cancer is barely sensitive to
Chemotherapy is the use of
powerful chemical agents to destroy cancer cells. Unlike surgery and radiotherapy, chemotherapy is a systematic
therapy that affects your body in its entirety. In most cases, the medications will be given approximately five
times per week over a period of three months. The drugs can be taken orally or intravenous injection; your
oncologist will chose the method he thinks will be more effective.
The chemotherapy drugs
always cause side effects; the most common include:
- loss of
- loss of
- low sex
risk of infections.
therapy is a cancer treatment consisting using high-powered beams of energy to destroy
cancer cells by preventing them from dividing. Unlike chemotherapy, radiation acts locally on the tumor and a
small surrounding healthy tissue.
less toxic than chemotherapy, radiation therapy can also cause adverse effects such as fatigue, nausea and
redness of the skin. Contact your doctor immediately if develop sever skin reaction after the