Gall Bladder Cancer

Know More About Gall Bladder Cancer

Gall bladder is a small pear shaped organ that is responsible for storing the bile. It is a digestive fluid that ensures proper breakdown of the food materials. The gall blader is located just beneath the liver. The gall bladder cancer, generally, do not exhibit any symptoms at an early stage. If diagnosed at an early stage, it may be cured but at an advanced stage, the prognosis becomes difficult. Further, being relatively hidden also makes it difficult to detect the disease.


  • The healthy and normally functioning cells of the gall bladder may undergo changes referred as genetic mutations. These changes cause the cells to grow out of control and form lump. They can also spread to other parts of the body.
  • It has been observed that gall bladder cancer is most likely to develop in women than men. Also, with the increasing age, the risk factor increases.
  • If someone is dealing with the history of gallstones, the chances of getting hit with gall bladder cancer are high.
  • Other conditions of gall bladder like chronic inflammation, polyps, and infections may lead to development of gall bladder cancer.
  • Issues like primary sclerosing cholangitis that leads to inflammation of bile ducts are among factors for gall bladder cancer. Primary sclerosing cholangitis leads to draining of bile from liver and gall bladder.

Types of gall bladder cancer

The gall bladder cancer types depend on which cell they start in.


It is the most commonly occurring type of gall bladder cancer. It occurs in the gland cells that are present in the lining of the gall bladder. The glands are responsible for the production of thick fluid called mucus.

The adenocarcinoma has three types, that is, non papillary adenocarcinoma, papillary adenocarcinoma, and mucinous adenocarcinoma. Papillary carcinoma occurs in connective tissues that hold gall bladder in place. In the case of mucinous carcinomas, the cancer cells appear as the pools of mucus.

Squamous Cell Cancer

As the name suggests, the cancer cells develop in the squamous cells present in the lining of the gall bladder.

Adenosquamous Cancer

Adenosquamous cancer develops in both glandular and squamous cells. This is termed case of mixed histology.

Small cell cancer

Small cell cancer or oat cell carcinomas are another type that resemble to an oat.


Sarcoma refers to the cancer that develops in the protective tissues of the body. The tumor cells occurring in the muscle layer of the gall bladder refers to condition of sarcoma. Usually, the connective tissue consists of blood vessels, muscles, and nerves.

Signs and Symptoms

The common symptoms observed in the patients of gall bladder cancer are:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain occurring in upper right area of the the abdomen
  • Whites of eye along with yellowing of the skin, that is, signs of jaundice
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal lumps


The process of diagnosis are various to be sure of what medical condition an individual is in.

Blood Tests

The blood tests are done to find out if the chemicals, enzymes, and other elements are maintained at an optimum level. It helps to know the causes behind the development of the disease.

Imaging Tests

The imaging tests are performed to get pictures of the gallbladder  through the procedures like computed tomography (CT Scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasounds.


A biopsy is performed when a thin needle is inserted inside the affected area and a sample of cells and tissues is collected so that it can be analysed in the laboratory for the presence of cancerous cells if any. The technician views the slide under the microscope and provides with the desired information. This test also helps to know about the type of cancer that is developing in the body and the the stage it has reached as well.


Laparoscopy is a surgery where the inside of abdomen is viewed by making incisions in the body. A narrow thin tube is inserted through this incision to look for the possible signs and symptoms.
These tests are performed to look for the tumors that might be present or have started forming in the gallbladder.

Side Effects of the treatment

  • Cholecystectomy may lead to issues like injury to the bile duct, bowel, small intestine, and surrounding blood vessels. Apart from this, infection, bleeding, bile leakage, and deep vein thrombosis can also be caused.
  • While getting radiation therapy, the normal healthy cells might also undergo damage, red and sore skin, fatigue, loss of appetite, uncomfortable swallowing, stiffness in muscles and joints, diarrhea, and fertility issues.
  • Chemotherapy might lead to health issues like feeling sick and tired after the treatments, hair loss, low red blood cell count (anemia), and more vulnerability to infections, sore mouth, and bleeding and bruising.
  • Treatments like immunotherapy and targeted drug therapy can lead to issues with wound healing, change in hair color, skin issues, mouth soreness, fatigue, and blood pressure.

Available Treatments

The treatments for handling gall bladder cancer are many and depend on the intensity of spread and harm that it can have on the body.


Cholecystectomy or removal of gall bladder can be performed to eliminate gall bladder cancer from the body.
Often, when the cancer cells spread to nearby parts, the doctor may perform removal of the gall bladder, and some portions of bile ducts and liver as well.


Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill and limit the rapidly growing cancer cells. The specific chemicals used to treat the disease can be used in the form of pills, through a vein in the arm, or even both. The special dye moves through the body and targets the fast growing cells to kill them. The chemotherapy may be used before, during, or after the treatments as per the needs of the body.

Radiation Therapy

The radiation therapy, by its name, defines the process itself. The X-rays or protons, that is, strong beams of light are used to attack the cancer cells and let them die instantly. Also, the patient lies on a platform and around him moves a machine consisting of radioactive elements that kills the cancer cells wherever present in the body. This is called external radiation.

In the case of internal radiation, a radioactive material containing small device is place inside the body for a specific period of time around the affected area to destroy the cancer cells.

Targeted Drug Therapy

In the case of targeted drug therapy, the doctor focuses on the abnormalities or malfunctioning existing in the tumor cells to destroy them. Specific drugs are injected into the body that target the weakness of the cancer cells as identified through the tests and attacks them.


Immunotherapy is a special treatment that deals with the human immune system and aims to strengthen it for fighting the tumor cells. During this procedure, the manmade antibodies are injected into the body that leads to identifying the target cells, that is, the cancer cells and attacks them. The therapy blocks proteins that hinder the normal cells from their functioning.

Why opt for Ayurveda?

The field of Ayurveda helps in dealing with the issues with a positive approach. Being one of the oldest systems of medicine, it incorporates a lot of hypotheses and concepts that have been received in the modern age. It holds the ability to reduce the symptoms and issues that a particular disease is causing. The professionals ensure that the use of medicinal herbs and therapies is done in a proper manner.

Use of several therapies has been known in Ayurveda like Panchkarma therapies, cupping therapy, massage therapy, and the use of products like Guggul, curcumin, ashwagandha, Chander Prabha Vati are known to be beneficial in the cases of cancer. These herbs enhance the internal purification process and offer varied healing methods to the individual.

As per the Ayurvedic texts, the Vata dosha is responsible for the abrupt division of the cells. Ashawagandha, guggul, tulsi, curcumin, and chandraprabha vati are known to be beneficial n the cases of gall bladder cancer. Use of techniques like Uttara Basti, Yoni Puran karma, and Yoni prakshalan karma can also be done to treat cancerous situations.