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Side Effects of Treatment for Gallbladder Cancer

It is hard to destroy only cancer cells. Treatment may damage healthy cells and tissues as well, and this can cause side effects. Your doctor or nurse can explain the possible side effects of your treatment. They can also help manage these side effects. Because of this, it is important that you let your doctor or nurse know if you experience any treatment side effects.

Side effects of gallbladder cancer surgery

You will most likely have some discomfort or pain at and around the surgical incision (cut) for a few days or longer. Medication can help you feel more comfortable. Ask your doctor or nurse about pain relief.

You will also feel tired or weak after surgery. If you had extensive surgery that affected organs around the gallbladder, you might have eating problems for some time after surgery. How long it takes to recover is different for each person. You may have to stay in the hospital for a while.

Infection and bleeding are other possible but not common side effects.

Side effects of radiation therapy for gallbladder cancer

Radiation affects normal cells as well as cancer cells. Side effects of radiation depend on how much you get and what part of your body is treated. These are common side effects of radiation:

  • Fatigue

  • Skin changes

  • Appetite loss

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

Side effects of chemotherapy for gallbladder cancer

Like radiation, chemotherapy affects both normal cells and cancer cells. The side effects you may have depend on the kind of drug you take and how much. These are common side effects of chemotherapy:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Hair loss

  • Mouth sores

  • Diarrhea

  • Fatigue

Serious side effects such as infection or bleeding also occur. Side effects may be more severe if chemotherapy is given together with radiation.

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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