How to treat gallbladder cancer

How to treat gallbladder cancer

How to treat gallbladder cancer ? Treating gallbladder cancer has more to do with the location and size of the tumor, the health of the patient, and if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body.

The most common treatments available for gallbladder cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Gallbladder cancer sufferers have a better prognosis if the cancer is detected in the early stages and prior to spreading to other areas of the body. In most cases, individuals with gallbladder cancer will have a team of doctors deciding on the best treatment plan. The doctors that are often seen in the team include a surgeon, gastroenterologist, medical oncologist, and a radiation oncologist.

How to treat gallbladder cancerSurgery

The surgery performed on individuals with gallbladder caner is known as a cholescystectomy, whether simple or extended. The simple cholescystectomy surgery is for the removal of the gallbladder whereas the extended cholescystectomy is when not only the gallbladder is removed but a portion of the tissue of the liver and in some cases the lymph nodes in the area.

How to treat gallbladder cancer

A surgery known as radical gallbladder resection is another possibility. This surgery removes the gallbladder as well as a small wedge shaped portion of the liver, a portion of the bile duct, and part of the ligaments between the intestines, liver, and well as lymph nodes that lie close to blood vessels in the area and around the pancreas.

One more surgery may also be considered which is palliative surgery. This surgery is only for relief of some of the symptoms when the tumor cannot be removed. In most cases, it is only to relieve a blockage that is present in the intestines or bile ducts.

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Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy are high energy x-rays that kill cancer cells. The one most commonly used for gallbladder surgery is known as the external bean radiation therapy. With this type of radiation therapy, a machine outside the body is used to shrink the size of the tumor instead of surgery. This can also be used after surgery to kill remaining cancer cells in the area. In many cases today, radiation therapy is often given at the same time as surgery in order to target the cancer cells and to protect other organs in close proximity.


Chemotherapy is drugs that kill cancer cells. In the majority of cases of gallbladder cancer, a systemic chemotherapy is used. This type of chemotherapy delivers the drugs into the bloodstream, which hunts out cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy can be given prior to surgery in order to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill remaining cancer cells. In some patients, both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are both used. The chemotherapy drugs often used with gallbladder cancer patients include fluorouracil known as 5-FU and Efudex and gemcitabine known as Gemzar

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