Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Gallbladder Cancer

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 3/2013
Symptoms and Signs

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ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

People with gallbladder cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with gallbladder cancer do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer, such as a stomach virus. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your doctor.

Gallbladder cancer is usually not found at an early stage because the gallbladder is located deep inside the body. Therefore, gallbladder cancer can be difficult to detect during routine physical examinations. Sometimes, gallbladder cancer is found unexpectedly after removal of the gallbladder for another reason, such as gallstones. When symptoms do occur, they include the following:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Lumps in the abdomen
  • Fever

Your doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.  

© 2005-2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.

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