The fear of Gallbladder Cancer among people who have already undergone the treatment is well known. Even after finishing the treatment of cancer and coming out as a survivor, the chances of cancer recurrence are there.
For some people, gallbladder cancer might never go away completely. And there are chances of them coming back in some other part of the body. Some people may get regular treatment with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or other treatments to prevent cancer recurrence. Learning to live with cancer that might come back can be frustrating and stressful.
Life after gallbladder cancer requires making some positive and healthy choices. This will help you fight with the post-treatment face better and effectively. In this blog, we will discuss steps you can take to prevent cancer recurrence.
What Is Gallbladder Cancer?
Gallbladder cancer is an abnormal growth and multiplication of cells that begins in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is located on the right side of the abdomen beneath the liver. It is pear-shaped.
It is often detected by chance after gallbladder surgery or when it has progressed to a late stage.
Gallbladder Cancer Symptoms
Generally, it is found at later stages. There may be no symptoms at all. It makes it difficult to detect the gallbladder at early stages during physical examinations. Gallbladder cancer symptoms include-
- Abdominal Bloating
- Pain and cramping in the abdomen
- Itchy skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- A lump in the abdomen
- Unexplained Weight loss.
What Are The Stages Of Gallbladder Cancer?
One of the biggest fears regarding cancer is whether it has spread to other body parts from its original location. Doctors do various tests and examinations to ensure where it has spread. The process is called staging. The stages are:
- Stage 0: Cancer is confined to the gallbladder’s mucosal (inner) layer.
- Stage 1: In this stage, it spreads to the muscle layer.
- Stage 2: It has spread to the connective tissue layer beyond the muscle layer.
- Stage 3: Cancer has spread to the liver and organs near it, the outer layer, and possibly to the lymph nodes.
- Stage 4: It has moved to more than three adjacent lymph nodes, nearby vessels, and distant organs.
Risk Factors For Gallbladder Cancer
A risk factor increases your chance of catching a disease like gallbladder cancer has a high chance of happening due to certain factors. Different cancers have different risk factors. However, here we are talking about risk factors associated with the gallbladder. Some of them are-
They are the most common risk factor for cancer. A large number of people with stones are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer.
It is a condition in which the gallbladder wall gets covered with calcium deposits. People with this condition have a high chance of developing cancer.
Cancer is more common among women than men. Women are at more risk in case of this type of cancer.
Although cancer is more common among older people, it does not mean that the younger population is not at risk and does not develop gallbladder cancers.
Ethnicity And Geography
Cancer is seen much more in people of a particular ethnicity and geographical location. Some geographical areas are at low risk, while others are at a high risk of developing these types of cancer.
They are bile-filled sacs along bile ducts. The cells lining these sacs often have areas of precancerous changes, which can prove to be cancer over time.
Abnormalities Of Bile Ducts
Abnormalities in the bile duct are one of the causes of cancer.
Cholesterol deposits in the Gallbladder wall form some polyps. Others may be small tumors or may be caused by inflammation. Polyps larger than 1 centimeter are more likely to cause cancer.
Those chronically infected with salmonella typhoid-causing bacteria are at a high risk of developing it.
It is not found in people with a family history of this disease. It is a rare disease.
Other Possible Risk Factors
Other factors that may contribute to increasing the risk of gallbladder cancer are-
- Exposure to chemicals used in the rubber and textile industries
- Exposure to nitrosamine.
How To Prevent Gallbladder Cancer Recurrence
While the rate of cancer recurrence depends on several factors, including your overall health, lifestyle, post-treatment follow-ups with doctors, etc. Following are a few things you should take care of if you want to prevent gallbladder cancer recurrence-
Stay in contact with a doctor for proper follow-ups. Keep yourself and your doctors aware of your current medical conditions. Those who already have cancer have a high risk of developing gallbladder cancer.
During your visits to the doctors, they will ask about any problems you’re having and will do examinations, lab tests, and imaging tests. This will ensure that you do not have any signs or symptoms of gallbladder cancer recurrence.
Inform your doctor about any changes that you notice and the concerns that you have.
Depending upon which stage and grade of cancer you have had, you need to visit the doctor regularly. If you are someone whose cancer did not go completely, you must take extra care and get yourself examined more frequently. This is to prevent your gallbladder cancer recurrence. The tests which might be conducted are urine tests, physical exams, imaging tests like x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.
Maintain A Proper Body Mass Index
There are studies that indicate that if you are obese or overweight, you will have a higher chance of gallbladder cancer recurrence. So, develop the habit of eating healthy and doing physical activities to keep yourself fit. Do not smoke, as smoking can negatively affect your body and increase risk.
In case of gallbladder cancer recurrence at any point, you can visit the website University Cancer Centers and book an appointment immediately. You can also visit our facility directly. We offer coordinated cancer and surgical treatments. Our medical experts use surgery, radiation therapy, systemic chemotherapy, gene-targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and endocrine therapy to treat cancer.
We have experienced and efficient doctors to treat you. The care and treatment that we give to our patients are unmatchable. Even if you want to take a second opinion on gallbladder cancer treatment, our physicians will educate you on your condition thoroughly.