Initially, your doctor will ask you questions about the signs and symptoms related to gallbladder cancer. In addition, he will seek to know your medical history. These approaches, however, are not enough to confirm the diagnosis; other more specific tests are needed.
Blood test – a blood test cannot confirm a gallbladder cancer; it is however, important to determine the function of your liver; certain gallbladder cancer symptoms such as jaundice tend to be similar to those of liver disease.
Imaging techniques – usually, presence of gallbladder cancer is confirmed using CT scan, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Ultrasound – this medical technique allows your doctor to detect in the bladder presence of acoustic shadows caused by gallbladder stones. In addition, the ultrasound can reveal an intraluminal mass, a vivid indicative of a tumor of the gallbladder.
CT scan: this test allows your physician to detect thickening of the gallbladder wall and/or the presence of a polypoid mass within the gallbladder. If the cancer has already metastasized, the CT scan will reveal signs of liver invasion by an adjacent gallbladder tumor; the test can also reveal metastasis in the lymph nodes or liver.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – a MRI is an imaging technique used to create image of your gallbladder by applying a combination of electromagnetic waves at high frequency. To enhance the tumor, your health care will inject a liquid into your vein. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows your doctor to detect not only the malignancy but also presence of metastasis.
Laparoscopy – sometimes, imaging techniques cannot distinguish between an inflammatory mass and a tumor, the diagnosis will then be confirmed by a surgical procedure called laparoscopy. Laparoscopy allows your doctor to detect not only the cancer but also discover if the tumor has already spread to other organs.