Gallbladder Cancer Treatment

There are many different types of gallbladder cancer treatment strategies that may be recommended depending on the patient’s specific condition. One of the inherent challenges of treating gallbladder cancer is that this particular type of cancer has a tendency to only be detected in more advanced stages, necessitating immediate attention. Like all cancers, the earlier the condition is diagnosed, the better. At Moffitt Cancer Center, our gallbladder cancer specialists have extensive experience working with patients who have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancers, and our multispecialty tumor board meets regularly to develop individual treatment plans for each patient. It is this commitment to personalized care that has helped Moffitt Cancer Center become one of the most trusted providers of gallbladder cancer treatment.

One of the most effective forms of gallbladder cancer treatment is the surgical removal of the gallbladder and surrounding tissue, including the lymph nodes. This procedure is known as a cholecystectomy, and is often recommended when the cancer has not spread beyond the gallbladder. Additionally, surgery is sometimes used in instances when the cancer has spread in order to help relieve symptoms. For instance, if a tumor is causing bile to accumulate in the gallbladder, a surgical bilary bypass might be used to create a new pathway in the bile ducts around the blockage. 

Other common gallbladder cancer treatment options include:

  • Chemotherapy uses therapeutic drugs to slow tumor growth or destroy the tumor. Often, this treatment is used in conjunction with surgery or other therapies. It can be taken orally or through injection into a vein or muscle, and it may even be delivered through biologic immunotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy is a treatment that uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells. This treatment, too, is often combined with surgery and other therapies. Radiation is also the treatment option of choice when the cancer is advanced to the point of precluding surgical intervention.
  • Clinical trials are innovative therapies that have shown early successful returns but have not become widely implemented yet. Breakthrough discoveries in medications, surgery, molecular therapy, immune therapy and endoscopy may help address the patient’s gallbladder cancer.
  • Supportive care – A variety of treatments are available to help address pain, discomfort and stress and to improve quality of life.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we are one of the leading cancer centers in the United States, and in recognition of our research efforts, we have been designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. We offer the most advanced gallbladder cancer treatments, and our highly trained, multispecialty team of gallbladder experts will review your diagnosis and determine the best course of action depending on your condition, symptoms and overall health.

To learn more, call 1-888-MOFFITT or schedule an appointment online. No referral is necessary to meet with our oncologists specializing in gallbladder cancer within our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program.