- How is gallbladder cancer treated?
- Surgery for gallbladder cancer
- Radiation therapy for gallbladder cancer
- Chemotherapy for gallbladder cancer
- Palliative therapy for gallbladder cancer
- Clinical trials for gallbladder cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies for gallbladder cancer
- Treatment options based on the extent of gallbladder cancer
- More treatment information about gallbladder cancer
How is gallbladder cancer treated?
General treatment information
After gallbladder cancer is found and staged, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. This team may include:
- A surgeon or a surgical oncologist (a surgeon who specializes in cancer treatment)
- A radiation oncologist: a doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer
- A medical oncologist: a doctor who uses chemotherapy and other medicines to treat cancer
Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, and other health professionals.
It is important to discuss all of your treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. It’s also very important to ask questions if there is anything you’re not sure about. You can find some good questions to ask in the section, “What should you ask your doctor about gallbladder cancer?”
Take time to think about your choices. In choosing a treatment plan, factors to consider include the type and stage of the cancer, the possible side effects of treatment, your overall health, and the chances of curing the disease, extending life, or relieving symptoms. The main types of treatments used to treat gallbladder cancer include:
See the “Additional resources for gallbladder cancer” section for a list of other, more detailed materials on the different types of cancer treatments and their side effects.
If time permits, it is often a good idea to seek a second opinion, particularly for an uncommon cancer such as gallbladder cancer. A second opinion can provide more information and help you feel more confident about your chosen treatment plan.
Last Medical Review: 06/12/2013
Last Revised: 02/06/2014