Gallbladder Cancer

Illustration of the gallbladder

Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ under your liver. It stores bile, a fluid made by your liver to digest fat. As your stomach and intestines digest food, your gallbladder releases bile through a tube called the common bile duct. The duct connects your gallbladder and liver to your small intestine.

Cancer of the gallbladder is rare. It is more common in women and Native Americans. Symptoms include

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Pain above the stomach
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Lumps in the abdomen

It is hard to diagnose gallbladder cancer in its early stages. Sometimes doctors find it when they remove the gallbladder for another reason. But people with gallstones rarely have gallbladder cancer. Because it is often found late, it can be hard to treat gallbladder cancer. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

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