Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Diagnosis and Treatment of Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the gallbladder. This is a pear-shaped organ that lies just under the liver in the upper abdomen. The gallbladder stores bile, a fluid made by the liver to digest fat. When food is being broken down in the stomach and intestines, bile is released from the gallbladder through a tube called the common bile duct, which connects the gallbladder and liver to the first part of the small intestine.

Stanford Expertise

When you are being treated for cancer you want a physician who is familiar with your particular disease. Yet because gallbladder cancer is rare it can be difficult to find a doctor who has treated patients with this condition. Our specialists at the Cancer Center not only treat gallbladder cancer, but have expertise managing complex cases, and offer the most advanced diagnostic technologies and treatments available today.

Diagnosis and Staging
The stage of your cancer will determine which treatment is appropriate for you. In addition to laboratory tests, Cancer Center physicians have the best technology available to make the most accurate diagnosis, including:

Surgery
The first line of treatment for gallbladder cancer is almost always surgery. With all surgeries, the expertise of the surgeon is an important factor in the success of treatment. Cancer Center surgeons are recognized experts in gastrointestinal surgery and can provide you with the most minimally invasive surgery possible for your condition.

Radiation & Chemotherapy
Following surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy are often used to kill any cancer cells that may remain undetected in your body.

Chemotherapy is offered in our newly expanded, patient-friendly infusion center.

For radiation therapy, the Cancer Center has state-of-the-art linear accelerators and also offers advanced brachytherapy for some cases of gallbladder cancer.

Clinical Trials
Cancer Center physicians are active in developing and testing new therapies for the treatment of gallbladder cancer.

When appropriate, patients are invited to participate in studies to investigate the newest treatments as well as large-scale clinical trials for more established treatments.

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