Normally gallbladder cancer comes without special clinical symptoms or only develops the symptoms of chronic cholecystitis. The early diagnosis of it is hard that once constant pain, lump, jaundice occur, a patient is already in late stages.
Therefore, the patients, especially the ones older than 50 and have the history of cholecystolithiasis, inflammation or polyp, complain of discomfort or pain in gallbladder should regularly have ultrasound examination for early and firm diagnose.
Symptoms of gallbladder cancer
1. Symptoms of enteron. Most patients (about 90%) develop dyspepsia, aversion to greasy food, belching, poor appetite and other symptoms because of functional defect of gallbladder, which means the patients cannot digest fatty material.
2. Pain in right upper abdomen. Over 80% gallbladder cancer patients are suffering from cholecystolithiasis at the same time that some similar symptoms of cholecystolithiasis or cholecystitis develop. Most cases would present the pain in right upper abdomen first, which would develop to constant vague or dull pain and occasionally accompanied by the paroxysmal acute pain that can extend to right shoulder.
3. Lump in right upper abdomen. About 50% patients develop the lump in right upper abdomen or upper abdominal regions, among them mostly are enlarged gallbladder.
4. Jaundice and skin itch normally appear in late stage of gallbladder cancer. Obstruction of bile duct resulted by cancer tissues encroaching on bile ducts or swelling metastatic lymph nodes depressing on bile ducts that the bile secreted by liver cannot enter intestines but flows black to blood would lead to yellow satin in skin and mucous membrane. And a patient with jaundice is normally accompanied by the skin itch that is hard to relieve and may aggravates at night.
5. Fever and emaciation. Around 25% patients would present fever, which causes from secondary infection of biliary tract. Cachexia may even develop in late stage patients as well.
Physical signs of gallbladder cancer
It appears as yellow stain in mucous membrane and skin severely and mainly because of obstructive jaundice. And jaundice normally is a sign of advanced cancer stage.
2. Lump in right upper abdomen
Smooth and swelling gallbladder can be touched in right upper abdomen when it is movable and without accretion of tissues around. But if accretion of peripheral tissues occurs, normally several lumps, even swelling liver or the lumps of duodenum obstruction are palpable.