Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer is rare, especially in the United States.  When found early, the chances for a cure are very good. However, since gallbladder cancer rarely has symptoms, it is often found at a later stage. Doctors at Nebraska Medicine have advanced training in gastrointestinal and biliary cancers. This will ensure you get the most current and advanced treatments and care.

Come to Nebraska Medicine for Gallbladder Cancer Treatment to Receive

Doctors with Advanced Training and Experience

Nebraska Medicine has a team of doctors who specialize in diseases and cancers of the gastrointestinal system and biliary tract. Though gallbladder cancer is rare, our team of doctors have advanced training and experience in this subspecialty area so you can be confident you will be receiving the most comprehensive and up-to-date care. More experience treating a particular type of cancer translates into better outcomes. 

Team Treatment Approach

Each week we bring a team of cancer specialists together, including medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists and a pathologist. They review each patient’s case to collaborate on care and treatment approaches. This ensures you receive a comprehensive and well thought out plan of care.

Advanced Treatments by Experienced Physicians

Treatment of gallbladder cancer often involves surgery to remove the gallbladder. If the cancer has spread beyond the gallbladder to the liver, parts of the liver and surrounding bile ducts may also be removed. Because we have surgeons that specialize in surgery for gastrointestinal and biliary cancers, we have the experience and expertise needed to ensure you have the best outcome possible.

In some cases, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be recommended following surgery. Our radiation oncologists use advanced technology including stereotactic radiotherapy, imaging-guided radiotherapy and respiratory gaiting to deliver a carefully shaped and highly precise doses of high-energy radiation to treat the tumor, while limiting damage to surrounding tissue. Research shows that higher radiation doses may result in increased cure rates and improved tumor control.

Advanced diagnostic techniques

Gallbladder cancer can be difficult to detect and diagnose. A small, pear-shaped organ just to the right of your abdomen and beneath your liver, the cancer can often grow without being detected. While there are usually no early symptoms of gallbladder cancer, when symptoms are present, they often mimic other illnesses. To get a more definitive diagnosis, our doctors use an advanced diagnostic procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). This is a technique that combines upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy with X-rays to diagnose problems of the bile and pancreatic ducts. When necessary, doctors can obtain a piece of tissue for a pathologist to examine under a microscope. This is called a biopsy.

At Nebraska Medicine, we have pathologists who specialize in gastroenterology and biliary cancers. Because they specialize in the diagnosis of these cancers, they have more experience in studying and identifying these types of cancer tissues to ensure you receive the most accurate diagnosis.

Research into Innovative Cancer Therapies

Personalized cancer therapies are play a growing role in cancer treatment and Nebraska Medicine researchers and clinicians are at the forefront of these advances bringing the latest clinical trials and breakthroughs to our patients.

This includes the development of new cutting edge cancer treatments based on a person’s DNA as well as the use of immunotherapy—a personalized treatment approach that harnesses a patient’s own immune cells to recognize and attack the cancer. As a patient at Nebraska Medicine, you may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials, giving you access to access to new treatment advances before they are available to the general public.

Addressing Your Personal Care Needs

Addressing a patient’s physical, educational, emotional and spiritual needs are important aspects of providing a more complete and holistic approach to care. A host of amenities and supportive services are available to help meet these needs. This includes personal care services such as wigs, wig fittings, prosthetic and bra fittings, yoga, massage therapy, skin care and make-up lessons specifically geared for people with or recovering from cancer are also provided in a private setting.

Cancer Support Services

Finding out that you have cancer can be a very emotional and difficult time. You will likely have many questions and issues to work through. We will be with you every step of the way. Nebraska Medicine offers a host of cancer support services to help you with your physical, emotional, educational and financial needs.

We're Here for you Long After Your Treatment

Our Survivorship Clinic is designed to help you deal with the emotional and physical challenges cancer can leave behind such as fear of recurrence, physical and medical long-term side effects and helping you return to a normal life again. It will also help you transition back into the care of your primary care physician.