Last edited 05/2019

The clinical course of gallbladder cancer is often so indolent that at the time of presentation there has been local invasion, lymph node metastases, and distant metastases, for example to the lungs or bone.

Early tumours may be treated successfully by cholecystectomy in conjunction with wedge resection of the liver bed plus regional lymphadenectomy. Surgery may also be of value for small invasive tumours.

In more advanced diseases, radiotherapy and cytotoxic chemotherapy have no significant effect. Palliative treatment, for example analgesics and sedatives, are the only course available.

The best prognosis is often from those tumours found as an incidental finding at cholecystectomy.