What Is Gallbladder Cancer?
Gallbladder cancer is a malignant tumor developing in gallbladder tissues but primary gallbladder cancer is very rare. Male and female ratio of gallbladder cancer is about 1:2, which means it is more common among women, especially for women who are over 60 years old. Its prognosis is poor and the five- year survival rate can only reach 3%.
Compared to lung cancer and gastric cancer, the incidence rate of gallbladder cancer is low, but in recent years it is rising. As its early symptoms are not obvious, early gallbladder cancer is not easy to diagnose, but the therapeutic effects for middle and advanced cancers are extremely poor and more than 80% of patients die of middle and advanced cancer within a year. However, if diagnosed earlier and received surgery timely, patient’s five-year survival rate can be more than 90%. Therefore, attention should be paid to screening of gallbladder cancer, so as to get early detection and early treatment.
What are the Causes of Gallbladder Cancer?
It is still not completely clear the real causes of gallbladder cancer, but the following factors are believed to increase the risk of developing it:
The female patient over 50 years old, with long course of chronic cholecystitis and with repeated recurrence.
Cholecystolithiasis (gallbladder stones). The risk of developing gallbladder cancer for patients with cholecystolithiasis is 38 times higher than that of people without gallbladder stones.
Calcification of gallbladder wall. It is more common in women over the age of 65. It is the final stage of chronic cholecystitis and its cancerization rate reaches as high as 22%.
The patient whose gallbladder polyps are 10 mm or larger, the cancerization rate can reach as high as 23%.
The incidence rate of gallbladder cancer may higher among people who like eating pickled products, bean curd preserved, fried foods, and chili. Besides, unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol drinking and high fat and high calorie diets may play a role in promoting the development of gallbladder cancer.
Women with early menarche age, late menopausal age, with many times of child-bearing have higher risk of developing gallbladder cancer, which may be related to the change of the level of endogenous estrogen, progesterone in their body.
Obesity in youth or overweight compared with the normal peers by 20%-30% can increase the risk of developing gallbladder cancer.
The staging of Gallbladder Cancer
Stage Ⅰ: cancer tissue is confined to mucosa, which means it belongs to primary cancer. Surgery can be done with good effect.
StageⅡ: Cancer tissue has invaded muscular layer. After surgery, the patient’s 5 year survival rate may reach 20%-30%.
Stage Ⅲ: cancer tissue has invaded the whole gallbladder wall. After surgery, the patient’s 5 year survival rate may reach 20%-30%.
Stage Ⅳ: cancer tissue has invaded the whole gallbladder wall and surrounding lymph nodes. Some patients in this stage are applicable to surgical removal, but overall treatment effect is not good. Small part of patients can live more than 5 years.
StageⅤ: Cancer tissue has directly invaded liver and other organs so it means the cancer cells have spread to whole body. Generally speaking, patient in this stage can hardly live more than one year.
There are few symptoms and no specificity in early gallbladder cancer, but early detection and early treatment is the key to increase survival rate. As mentioned above, active surgery has certain significance for improvement of survival rate. If you suspect yourself for developing gallbladder cancer and you cannot distinguish between normal and abnormal signs, you need to ask for help from doctor as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer, immediate treatment should be done so as to prevent it getting worse.