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Gall bladder cancer

Gall bladder cancer affects about 55 people in Ireland each year. It is more common in older women.

Gall bladder cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, depending on the type.

What is gall bladder cancer?

When cancer develops in your gall bladder, the cells change and grow in an abnormal way. As the cancer grows it forms a collection of cells (tumour).

This tumour can cause a blockage and cause symptoms, such as jaundice. Gall bladder cancer is rare − about 55 people are diagnosed with it every year in Ireland.

What is the gall bladder and what does it do? 

The gall bladder is a small organ in your abdomen, just under your liver. It stores bile, which is a digestive fluid made by your liver. Bile breaks down fats during digestion in the small bowel (intestine).

Tiny tubes called bile ducts connect your gall bladder to your small bowel and liver. Together, the gall bladder and bile ducts are known as the biliary system. There are lymph nodes near the gall bladder. Cancer can spread to the lymph nodes which is why they are often removed during surgery. If there is cancer also in the lymph glands your doctor will use this information to stage your cancer and to decide what treatment is most suitable.

More information about gall bladder cancer treatment

Treatment for gall bladder cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For more information about treatments for gall bladder cancer, visit our treatment page. For specific treatment information use the links below.

Coping with gall bladder cancer treatment and side-effects

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