What Are the Most Common Gallbladder Cancer Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 26 December 2018
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The most common gallbladder cancer symptoms are usually not noticeable until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. These include pain in the upper right side of the stomach, nausea, and vomiting. Jaundice is another common symptom of the condition. Other potential gallbladder cancer symptoms include weight loss and a high temperature, although these are less common.

In its early stages, gallbladder cancer often causes no symptoms. This is why early stage gallbladder cancer is often diagnosed by accident, and usually when the patient has gallstones removed. Once gallbladder cancer symptoms start to become apparent, the condition has often progressed to a late stage.

The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen, specifically on the upper right side, and a feeling of nausea. This may be accompanied by vomiting. The abdomen pain is often not constant, but seems to come and go.

Jaundice, i.e., when the skin and whites of the eye become yellow, is another common symptom. Jaundice can also cause urine to become darker and skin to itch. The reason gallbladder cancer causes jaundice is because the disease may stop the flow of bile. This results in bile, which is a yellow fluid, to accumulate in other regions of the body.


Other potential gallbladder cancer symptoms include weight loss and a lack of appetite. Many people with gallbladder cancer don’t suffer from these symptoms, however, and they can be caused by a variety of other issues. A high temperature is another potential symptom of the condition.

As noted above, it’s important to be aware that these symptoms are not always the result of gallbladder cancer. Infections of the gall bladder, as well as gallstones, can sometimes cause similar symptoms. This is why it’s essential for a person with any potential gallbladder cancer symptoms to visit a doctor immediately to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Since gallbladder cancer symptoms can mirror other conditions, a number of tests may be required to accurately diagnose the disease. Scans such as an MRI, CT, and ultrasound can be useful in making a proper diagnosis. A laparoscopy, which is a minor operation that allows a surgeon to inspect the gallbladder and other organs, may also be recommended. Other tests and procedures for diagnosing gallbladder cancer include an angiogram, which is a test of the blood vessels, and an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, which is a procedure to take an X-ray of the bile duct.



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