The gallbladder is a small organ, which resides in the right side of your lower abdomen. Gallbladder cancer is one of the rarer forms of cancer, and it can be tricky to treat if not caught right away.
In the first stages of the disease, there are not many gallbladder cancer symptoms to see. The organ is so small that you don't generally feel or see anything that would cause alarm. This can be quite unfortunate, as once the cancer begins to spread out of the gallbladder and surrounding tissues and the lymph nodes, it becomes more difficult to treat.
When symptoms finally do appear and the tumor has become large enough to cause pain or discomfort, it usually starts in the stomach. You might find yourself becoming nauseous, or feeling sharp aching pains on your right side. You could feel dizzy, and lose your appetite quite frequently. Due to tummy troubles, other gallbladder cancer symptoms that you could feel include unexplained weight loss and fatigue.
As the tumor grows and the cancer spreads, your gallbladder may also begin to grow. As it becomes enlarged you will notice a full, tight, or pressurized feeling on your right side. Sometimes patients can even feel a difference on that side by pressing a hand on it. This occurs near the mid to end stages of the disease, and requires immediate medical attention.
When the cancer spreads and starts to affect other organs, your biliary system can become damaged or congested. This makes it difficult for your liver to function, and it can make your skin take on a yellow hue. Jaundice, as it is called, can also make you feel itchy all over, and affect the color of urine and waste. This occurs mostly near the end stages of the cancer, making it difficult to treat, but not impossible.
It is important to remember that jaundice can occur with no cancer at all. It can be due to an infection or another illness which affects the liver.
Pay Close Attention:
Due to the minimal signs during the early stages, you should pay close attention to any of the symptoms you do notice, even if they could be attributed to something else going on within your body. Your doctor can check you for this type of cancer, once you have a suspicion that it might be in your body. Depending on the stage that you are in, treatment could be as simple as surgically removing a tumor and delivering radiation therapy to shrink remaining cells.
In extreme circumstances, more invasive surgeries can be used, but sometimes only palliative care can be given. This helps to manage symptoms and reduce pain and discomfort, but does not work as a cure for the disease itself.
If you think that you are experiencing any of the above gallbladder cancer symptoms, speak to your physician about your options. Once you have a diagnosis, you can begin treatment based on your personal needs, health requirements, and the opinion of your medical team.