After the diagnosis and tests, the doctors will recommend several treatment options that would help rid the disease. However, to maximize the possibility of recovery, your doctor may work with other health professionals in treating you. You may have several doctors on your treatment team.

Health-Practitioners that may join your treatment team includes:

  • A radiation oncologist: These are doctors who treat cancer with radiation therapy.
  • A medical oncologist: On the other hand, this is a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy or targeted therapy.
  • A gastroenterologist (GI doctor): Furthermore, these are doctors who treat diseases of the digestive system.
  • A surgical oncologist: Lastly, this is a person who has expert knowledge on cancer surgery.

The main treatment options for people with gallbladder cancer include:

Surgery

Surgery is the primary and most common type of cancer treatment option. Doctors perform it by removing the part of the body which has the disease. However, it is most effective if the physician will perform it alongside other treatment options such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. (1)

The specific type of doctor that performs cancer surgery are surgical oncologists. The main aim of surgery is to completely remove the part of the gallbladder organ that has cancer. Additionally, the types of surgical procedures that doctors might will perform depend on the stage and location of cancer. Lastly, surgery applies to both benign and malignant tissues.

Chemotherapy

This is one of the most important cancer treatment options. It is a process wherein doctors administer chemical compounds to destroy the cancer cells. Furthermore, it can stop the growth and division of cancer cells. The patient must also receive chemotherapy treatment over a set period on multiple occasions.

Radiation therapy

This is the use of high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. External-beam radiation therapy is the most common type of radiation therapy. Doctors perform it by sending radiation to the cancer cells from an external machine. Similar to chemotherapy, they must perform it several times over a set period to maximize its effectivity.

However, it is less effective in treating widespread cancers. For early-stage gallbladder cancers, radiation therapy may be the only necessary treatment.

Targeted therapy

This is where the treatment administered targets cancer’s specific proteins, genes or the tissue environment that is the major contributor to the growth of cancer. This type of treatment includes:

Immunotherapy

This kind of therapy boosts the body’s natural defense mechanism to fight against cancer. Furthermore, two or more different types of cancer treatments are usually administered to patients for the best results to be achieved. The choice of therapy depends entirely on the kind of cancer and the stage of the disease.

However, staging may seem difficult in patients who did not have their first treatment as surgery because their TNP is not known. Choosing the best treatment option depends on the general state of health and many other personal interests. You are therefore advised to choose the best treatment based on your understanding of the side effects and risks associated with it. (2)

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are research studies that help doctors discover new and promising treatments and procedures. It is also one of the ways to get state-of-the-art cancer treatment. Lastly, this may be the only way through which doctors and patients get access to newer treatment options.

Complementary and alternative methods

These methods are not likely to be mentioned by doctors to the patients by physicians, but they are administered to relieve pain and symptoms or treat cancer. These methods have not been proven to work, and some even turn out to be very dangerous.

References

Gallbladder Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from National Cancer Institute: https://www.cancer.gov/types/gallbladder/patient/gallbladder-treatment-pdq

Treating Gallbladder Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/gallbladder-cancer/treating.html