The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped structure just beneath the liver on the right side of the abdomen. It stores a digestive fluid, called bile, which is produced in the liver. Gallbladder cancer is relatively rare. In India in 2018, there were 25,999 new cases and 19,676 deaths.
Types Of Gallbladder Cancer
Almost all gallbladder cancers are adenocarcinomas, in which the cancer cells originate from gland-like cells in the digestive tract. Other types of gallbladder cancers are much rarer and may include adenosquamous carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, small cell carcinomas and sarcomas. These are diagnosed by the pathologist based on the sample taken during surgery or endoscopy by an onco surgeon.
Staging Of Gallbladder Cancer
If you are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer, your doctor oncologist or specialist of cancer will run more tests to determine the extent (stage) of your cancer. The stage of your cancer is based on the size and spread of the tumour and helps your doctor or specialist decide which treatments are optimum.
Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ): Abnormal cells are found only in the innermost layer of the gallbladder
Stage I: The cancer has formed in the innermost layer of the gallbladder wall and may have spread to the muscle layer of the gallbladder.
Stage II: Divided into two stages. Stage IIA (Cancer has spread through the muscle layer to the layer just beyond it.) Stage IIB (Cancer has spread through the muscle layer on the same side as the liver but has not spread to the liver.)
Stage III: Divided into two stages. Stage IIIA (Cancer has spread through the connective tissue layer of the gallbladder wall and has spread to the layer of tissue that covers the gallbladder or has spread to the liver, stomach, small intestine, colon or pancreas). Stage IIIB (cancer has formed in the innermost layer of the gallbladder wall and may have spread to the muscle or to the tissue that covers the gallbladder. The cancer may have spread to the liver or to one nearby organ or structure (such as the stomach, small intestine, colon, pancreas, or the bile ducts but has spread to one to three lymph nodes.)
Stage IV: It is divided into two stages. Stage IVA (Cancer has spread to the blood vessels in and around the gall bladder or to two or more organs other than the liver) Stage IVB (Cancer has spread to nearby organs or structures and four or more nearby lymph nodes).
Sources: Mayo Clinic; India Against Cancer; Cancer treatment centers of America; National Cancer Institute;
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