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Question for anyone diagnosed with gallbladder cancer.

suezbee
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2013

I have been diagnosed with (first called a "polyp"), now called a "tumor" in my gallbladder.  I am set for removal of GB Jan. 7th.  I am not trying to be pesimistic, rather just being prepared in case the biopsy comes back as cancerous.

I know it is rare (which is good).  However I do have many of the risk factors such as :  over 50, diabetes, female, etc...

Can anyone tell me of their symptoms prior to diagnosis?

I have had some odd symptoms such as tail bone pain, pelvic pain, fevers, and recurrent kidney infections, and nausea.

 I have no typical gallbladder symptoms such as history of gallstones, vomiting, abdominal pain or nausea.

 

When did the doctor tell you it was cancer?  In recovery or later?

God Bless all of you.

I am a little afraid and could use any help.

 

curriewalla
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2012

Hello,

I have a relative with gallbladder cancer who saw your post and asked me to respond. I am not a medical professional.

I suggest that you ask your doctors about the benefits/risks of an open laparotomy vs laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder.  My understanding is that gallbladder cancer seeds (spreads) easily, so it is extremely important not to accidentally spread the cancer while removing a gallbladder.  Where I live, laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder is contraindicated (not allowed) if cancer is suspected before surgery takes place.

My understanding is that gallbladder cancer usually produces non-specific symptoms. 

My relative had an ultrasound of the gallbladder area that was worrisome for cancer.  He didn't have a CT scan, or MRI or biopsy.  He quickly got himself to what might be called a high volume specialist medical centre [though not where I live] since the treatment options at home were really limited.  He had an open laparotomy (involving a large incision to get ito the abdominal cavity) and "en bloc" removal of his gallbladder, part of his liver, lots of lymph nodes and some surrounding fatty tissues.

My relative got the news that he had cancer when he woke up from surgery.  The pathologist examined the tissues while my relative was on the operating table.  So for my relative, it all happened in hours.  And I think that the surgeon(s) knew while he was on the operating table that they got negative margins (removed sufficient cancer free tissue around the area that had cancer). 

Usually I hear of people waiting several days or several weeks to find out whether the tissues were cancerous and whether the surgery resulted in negative margins.  I recommend that you ask your doctors about the hospital's pratices - precisely when will your tissues be examined by a pathologist (during surgery or in the next few days/weeks) and when will you get the results. 

Now some three + years later, my relative's follow up CT scans and blood work have not detected a recurrence of cancer, a most welcome result considering that at the time of surgery, the cancer had spread to the liver and lymph nodes. 

 

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