Gallbladder cancer stems from unusual cells in the gallbladder that develop and multiply without control.
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located just under the liver. The gallbladder functions as storage place for bile, a fluid made by the liver that helps to digest fats. Bile is released from the gallbladder through the common bile duct and mixes in the stomach and intestines as food is broken down through digestion.
Gallbladder cancer can sometimes be found on a scan that was performed for unrelated reasons. Other times, gallbladder cancers are found unexpectedly after removal of the gallbladder for other reasons, such as gallstones. Many people with gallbladder cancer do not have symptoms, however patients can present with symptoms that include:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Abdominal pain)
- Nausea and vomiting)
- Mass in the abdomen)
Some of these symptoms are linked to many other diseases and may be nothing more harmful than stomach flu. See your physician if you have any of the above symptoms.