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Gallbladder cancer is a relatively rare but aggressive form of cancer that originates in the gallbladder, a small organ beneath the liver. Due to its late-stage diagnosis in most cases, the gallbladder tumor treatment process can be complex. However, recent advancements in the field have resulted in a range of gall bladder cancer treatment options. Let’s take a look at the various treatment modalities available for gallbladder cancer including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and more. If you or a loved one are facing this diagnosis, understanding gallbladder tumor treatment options is crucial for making informed decisions to tackle the disease head on.
1. Surgery for Gallbladder Cancer
Surgery is typically the primary treatment for gallbladder cancer, particularly in its early stages when the tumor is localised and hasn’t spread to other parts of the body. Several surgical procedures may be considered by your healthcare provider –
A cholecystectomy is surgical removal of the gallbladder. In some cases, a cholecystectomy alone may be sufficient if the cancer is detected at an early stage and hasn’t spread beyond the gallbladder. There are two types of cholecystectomy – Simple Cholecystectomy and Extended Cholecystectomy.
Simple Cholecystectomy involves removal of just the gallbladder
Extended Cholecystectomy involves removing the gallbladder along with a portion of the liver and nearby lymph nodes if the cancer has spread around Schedule a consultation with the best oncologist in Noida to get started on your journey towards beating cancer.
b. Radical Resection
When the cancer has progressed or is more invasive, a radical resection may be the answer for a gallbladder tumor treatment. Radical Resection involves removal of the gallbladder, parts of the liver, lymph nodes, and sometimes nearby organs like the bile duct or a portion of the small intestine. It’s a more extensive surgery but is aimed at removing as much of the cancer as possible.
c. Palliative Surgery
In cases where the cancer has advanced significantly and a complete removal is not possible, palliative surgery may be considered by your doctor as a gall bladder cancer treatment option. The goal of palliative surgery is to alleviate symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. This may involve procedures to relieve bile duct obstruction or to bypass blocked ducts.
2. Chemotherapy for Gallbladder Cancer
Chemotherapy for gallbladder cancer involves the use of drugs to kill the cancer cells or inhibit their growth. These drugs can be used before or after a surgery, depending on the stage and extent of the cancer. For gallbladder cancer, a combination of chemotherapy drugs may be prescribed by your oncologist. Chemotherapy for gallbladder cancer is usually administered intravenously and may have certain side effects on the patient such as nausea, fatigue, hair loss, and a weakened immune system. Your oncologist will carefully monitor your progress through the process and manage these side effects to ensure your comfort and well-being. Also read, Fever After Chemotherapy: Symptoms, Precautions and Treatment
3. Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy rays to target and destroy cancer cells. This treatment method is typically used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy for gallbladder tumor treatment. Primarily, there are two types of radiation therapy for gall bladder cancer treatment.
a. External Beam Radiation
In External Beam Radiation therapy, radiation is directed through a machine from outside the body to the tumor. The precise targeting in this procedure minimises possible damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. The external beam radiation therapy is typically given across several weeks, with daily treatment.
In Brachytherapy, the radioactive sources are placed directly inside or close to the tumor. This allows for a more concentrated dose of radiation to be delivered directly to the cancer cells. Brachytherapy is usually considered in cases where external beam radiation isn’t effective or feasible for the patient. Radiation therapy as a procedure, may cause side effects including skin irritation, fatigue, and digestive problems. However, these side effects are usually temporary and manageable with the right medical support. Zeeva is the best cancer hospital in Noida, equipped with advanced technologies and the expertise of the best oncologist in Noida – Dr. Vikas Goswami. Schedule an appointment with him and explore the best-suited gall bladder cancer treatment options for your case.
4. Targeted Therapy
Targeted therapy is a relatively new approach for an effective gall bladder cancer treatment. This procedure involves using drugs that specifically target certain molecules or pathways involved in the cancer growth. Targeted therapy is typically used by doctors in combination with chemotherapy and may be an option for patients with an advanced or recurrent gallbladder cancer. Targeted therapy drugs tend to have different side effects than the traditional chemotherapy. Moreover, the use of these drugs depend on the specific characteristics of the tumor and the patient’s overall health. Your oncologist will create a tailored treatment plan depending on the specifics of the case.
Immunotherapy is an emerging treatment option for gallbladder cancer patients. It works by enhancing the body’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. While still in the experimental stages for gallbladder cancer, ongoing research holds promise for the development of more effective immunotherapies. Clinical trials may offer access to cutting-edge immunotherapy treatments for gallbladder cancer. Your oncologist should be able to provide you information on the available trials and whether you might be eligible to participate.
6. Palliative Care
Palliative care is an essential component of gallbladder cancer treatment, particularly when in an advanced stage or when curative options are limited. The goal of palliative care is to improve the patient’s quality of life by managing their symptoms and pain, and providing them all the emotional support possible. Palliative care services include pain management, counselling, nutritional support, and assistance with daily activities. This is not limited to end-of-life care but is integrated into the patient’s overall treatment plan for their gallbladder cancer to ensure best possible comfort and well-being.
7. Clinical Trials
Clinical trials play an extremely critical role in advancing gallbladder cancer treatment options. Participating in a clinical trial may create access for the patient to novel therapies and contribute to the development of more effective treatments for this rare cancer. Your oncologist can help you explore the available trial options and whether or not you qualify for any ongoing clinical trials and if they’ll be well-suited for your case.
Gallbladder cancer is a challenging diagnosis, and it’s essential to work closely with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists, as well as palliative care specialists to best manage this cancer. They have the expertise to provide personalised treatment plans and support throughout every patient’s cancer journey. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with gallbladder cancer, we recommend you to seek care from a specialised oncology clinic with the infrastructure, expertise, and experience in managing this rare condition. Early intervention and a well-coordinated treatment plan can improve the clinical outcomes and the overall quality of life for the patient. Remember that every case of gallbladder cancer is unique, and treatment decisions should be made in consultation with your healthcare team. Remember, your proactive approach and determination is going to be valuable in your fight against cancer. Schedule an appointment at Zeeva, the best cancer hospital in Noida and tackle cancer with the expertise and experience of the best oncologist in Noida – Dr. Vikas Goswami.