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Gallbladder cancer is difficult to detect and diagnose for the following reasons:
There aren't any noticeable signs or symptoms in the early stages of gallbladder cancer.
The symptoms of gallbladder cancer, when present, are like the symptoms of many other illnesses.
The gallbladder is hidden behind the liver.
Gallbladder cancer is sometimes found when the gallbladder is removed for other reasons. Patients with gallstones rarely develop gallbladder cancer.
Procedures used to diagnose gallbladder cancer
Procedures that create pictures of the gallbladder and the area around it help diagnose gallbladder cancer and show how far the cancer has spread. The process used to find out if cancer cells have spread within and around the gallbladder is called staging.
In order to plan treatment, it is important to know if the gallbladder cancer can be removed by surgery. Tests and procedures to detect, diagnose, and stage gallbladder cancer are usually done at the same time. The following tests and procedures may be used:
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!
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Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.