Early detection of gallbladder cancer is difficult because there are usually no symptoms in the initial stages of the condition, or, if symptoms do present, they can be similar to those of other illnesses. As a result, gallbladder cancer is most commonly diagnosed once the cancer has progressed into later stages. Another challenge to identifying gallbladder cancer is that the gallbladder is a small organ that is completely hidden by the liver. As a result, in order to detect the cancer, the physician typically has to be looking for it after the patient has started showing signs.
Typically, when a person has gallbladder cancer, the initial signs and symptoms include:
- Abdominal swelling
- Unexpected weight loss
- Skin itching
- Black, tarry stools
- Stomach pain
If you experience any of these symptoms and can’t readily explain their cause, speak with your physician. While gallbladder cancer is quite rare, it is always a good idea to do your due diligence and determine the cause of unexplained, prolonged symptoms.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we have extensive experience diagnosing and treating gallbladder cancer. We are a Comprehensive Cancer Center, as designated by the National Cancer Institute in recognition of our research efforts, and we offer a variety of leading treatments that aren’t currently available at other facilities in Florida. Moffitt Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program offers a comprehensive program of diagnosis, treatment, clinical trials and supportive care and is committed to providing you with the best health care available.
To learn more about the common warning signs and symptoms of gallbladder cancer and about our various gallbladder cancer treatment services, call 1-888-MOFFITT or schedule an appointment online. No referral is necessary.