The gallbladder is a small organ that's pear-shaped and located beneath the liver. Both the gallbladder and liver are behind the lower ribs on the right side. In adults, the gallbladder is around 3 or 4 inches long and typically no wider than an inch.
The purpose of the gallbladder is to concentrate and store bile, which is a fluid produced in the liver. Bile aids in the digestion of fats as they go through the small intestine. Bile can be released from the liver directly into bile ducts that carry it to the small intestine. Bile can be stored in the gallbladder and released later.
Types of Gallbladder Cancer
Gallbladder cancers are labeled by where they start. Each type can cause different symptoms. These cancers can be:
- Adenocarcinoma: Approximately nine out of 10 gallbladder cancer cases are adenocarcinomas. An adenocarcinoma is a kind of cancer that begins in cells with gland-like properties. Gallbladder adenocarcinoma starts in cells that line the inside of the digestive system.
- Papillary adenocarcinoma or Papillary cancer: Around six percent of all gallbladder cancer cases are papillary adenocarcinomas. When seen under a microscope, the cells in these cancers look like finger-like projections. Papillary cancers do not usually grow into the liver or nearby lymph nodes.
- Rare Gallbladder Cancers: Adenosquamous carcinomas, small cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and sarcomas can develop in the gallbladder but are not common.
Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?
Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.
High volume experience with gallbladder and bile duct/biliary cancers. You get better treatment outcomes and fewer potential complications.
Leading laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery expertise. We offer greater precision and faster recovery for our gallbladder surgery patients.
Advanced radiation oncology tools. Sylvester was the first medical center in Florida, and the fourth in the country to offer resonance magnetic-guided radiation therapy. Our team is a leader in that domain. Our RapidArc® radiotherapy system delivers intensity-modulated external radiation therapy (IMRT). These tools lead to more efficient and effective treatments, shorter treatment times, pinpoint accuracy in tumor targeting and less damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Finally, our radiation oncology department also offers proton beam therapy in our state-of-the-art Dwoskin Proton Therapy Center.
More cancer clinical trials than any other South Florida hospital. If appropriate for your cancer and stage, our clinical trials provide you with the very newest ways to treat and potentially cure your cancer.