Gallbladder Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
Certain factors affect the prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
Treatment may also depend on the age and general health of the patient and whether the cancer is causing symptoms.
Gallbladder cancer can be cured only if it is found before it has spread, when it can be removed by surgery. If the cancer has spread, palliative treatment can improve the patient's quality of life by controlling the symptoms and complications of this disease.
Taking part in one of the clinical trials being done to improve treatment should be considered. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
Stages of Gallbladder Cancer
Tests and procedures to stage gallbladder cancer are usually done at the same time as diagnosis.
See the General Information section for a description of tests and procedures used to detect, diagnose, and stage gallbladder cancer.
The following stages are used for gallbladder cancer:
Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)
In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the innermost (mucosal) layer of the gallbladder. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.
In stage I, cancer has formed. Stage I is divided into stage IA and stage IB.
Stage II is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB.
In stage III, cancer has spread to a main blood vessel in the liver or to nearby organs and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes.
In stage IV, cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and/or to organs far away from the gallbladder.
For gallbladder cancer, stages are also grouped according to how the cancer may be treated. There are two treatment groups:
Localized (Stage I)
Cancer is found in the wall of the gallbladder and can be completely removed by surgery.
Unresectable (Stage II, Stage III, and Stage IV)
Cancer has spread through the wall of the gallbladder to surrounding tissues or organs or throughout the abdominal cavity. Except in patients whose cancer has spread only to lymph nodes, the cancer is unresectable (cannot be completely removed by surgery).
Recurrent Gallbladder Cancer
Recurrent gallbladder cancer is cancer that has recurred (come back) after it has been treated. The cancer may come back in the gallbladder or in other parts of the body.
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