Gallbladder cancer is a rare cancer in which malignant (cancer) transformation of cells occur in the wall of the gallbladder.
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ under the liver that stores bile. Bile or gall is a fluid produced by the liver to digest fats. It is more commonly seen in central and South America, central and Eastern Europe, Japan and northern India. Certain ethnic groups e.g. Native American Indians and Hispanics also suffer a greater incidence of the cancer
. Women are at affected more than men.
Cure is possible if diagnosis is done early enough. Unfortunately a diagnosis is often made once symptoms occur, i.e. after the cancer advances. In such cases the outlook is poor. Surgery is the most effective treatment. Radiation and chemotherapy are also used.
Risk factors of Gallbladder Cancer
A risk factor is anything that increases one’s chance of acquiring a disease.
Risk factors of gallbladder cancer include:
- Gender: Gallbladder cancer is twice more common in women than men. It mostly occurs between the ages of 50 and 60
- Obesity: Obesity increases the risk of getting the cancer
- Ethnic groups: Ethnic groups like Native American Indians and Hispanics are at a high risk
The cancer is thought to be related to the presence of gallstones
. Gallstones lead to calcification of the gallbladder. This condition is called ‘Porcelain gallbladder’. People with porcelain gallbladder are at a high risk developing the cancer.