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What Are Symptoms of Gallbladder Cancer?

The symptoms of gallbladder cancer usually do not appear until the cancer has reached an advanced stage. Many symptoms are like those due to gallstones or gallbladder inflammation. The following are typical symptoms of gallbladder cancer: 

  • Pain or discomfort in the right side of the upper abdomen

  • A sense of fullness after eating even small amounts

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Poor appetite

  • Loss of weight without trying

  • Fever

  • Yellowing of the skin (jaundice) or the white area of the eyes (scleral icterus) 

  • Severe itching

Can I get screened for gallbladder cancer before I have symptoms?

Currently, no routine tests are used to screen for gallbladder cancer. It is a rare disease often confused with other more common gallbladder problems. Symptoms of gallbladder cancer usually do not appear until the cancer is in its later stages. There are no blood tests that can detect this cancer consistently. Additionally, gallbladder cancer is often tough to see on ultrasounds and CT scans. These factors make early detection difficult.

Online Medical Reviewer: Alteri, Rick, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Foster, Sara, RN, MPH
Date Last Reviewed: 10/30/2013
© 2013 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.
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