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Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer may cause vague or no symptoms in early stages. This can make diagnosis difficult. The renowned gastrointestinal cancer experts at the Abramson Cancer Center have deep experience in gallbladder cancer diagnosis and treatment. Our multidisciplinary team works together to find the treatments and support services that are right for you.

About Gallbladder Cancer

The gallbladder is a small organ located beneath the liver. It stores a digestive fluid called bile. Gallbladder cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably.

Why Choose the Abramson Cancer Center for Gallbladder Cancer Care?

At Penn Medicine, we provide exceptional expertise, with compassion. We treat gallbladder cancer using the latest innovations and support you throughout your care. We stay in close contact with you during your treatment and ensure you can reach us at any time through our easy-to-navigate patient portal, myPennMedicine.

When you come to us, you can expect:

  • Cancer surgery expertise: We regularly treat a high-volume of both rare and complex gallbladder cancers. Many of our surgeons are leaders in the field. They successfully perform highly technical procedures to remove cancers other centers may consider inoperable. Meet our GI cancer team.
  • Promising therapies: Our specialists follow the latest research developments. We use the most advanced treatments available, including proton therapy (a specialized radiation therapy) and novel drugs that target cancer at the molecular level.
  • Personalized treatment: Our team uses sophisticated tools and tests to detect and understand gallbladder cancer. These details are important for determining the best treatment plan. Read about GI cancer diagnosis.
  • In-depth collaboration: No two cancers are alike. That’s why our medical oncologists, surgeons and radiation oncologists work in teams, talking often and coordinating your care closely. When we work together, you get the best care.
  • Extensive support: Our nurse navigators are here to support you. They listen to your concerns, provide information and helping you coordinate appointments. Learn more about navigating GI cancer.
  • Expert care with convenience: You receive the same level of GI cancer expertise at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) in Philadelphia and our numerous satellite locations throughout the region.

Our Approach to Gallbladder Cancer Treatment: The Penn Medicine Advantage

Cancer treatment is most effective when it’s personalized. Individualized treatment is our standard for every patient, every time.

Gallbladder cancer treatment may include one or more of the following:

  • Surgery: Your doctor may recommend surgery to remove gallbladder cancer. Surgery is often curative for early-stage gallbladder cancers. Our GI surgeons perform a high volume of complex procedures to remove even the most advanced and hard-to-treat cancers.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy medicines work throughout the body to destroy cancer cells. We treat certain types of advanced disease with a specialized type of chemotherapy called a hepatic artery infusion pump. It delivers a concentrated dose of medicine directly to the liver.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs harness the body’s disease-fighting abilities to treat cancer. We are leaders in research that explores immunotherapy’s potential for treating GI cancers.
  • Targeted therapy: These medications target specific changes in cancer cells that allow them to grow and spread. We use specialized tests to match you with therapies that are right for you.
  • Radiation therapy: Penn radiation oncologists treat a high volume of rare gallbladder tumors with precise and safe therapies. Our team is one of only a few centers in the country using leading therapies (like proton therapy) to treat cancer in novel ways.
  • Clinical trials: Our cancer researchers participate in many different types of studies seeking to advance cancer care. This research helps us bring the most effective therapies to our patients more quickly. Read about our GI cancer research.
  • Supportive care: Our team includes nutrition professionals, social workers and palliative care specialists who are trained to help you manage the many challenges or discomforts cancer treatment can cause. Learn more about GI cancer support services.

Comprehensive Gallbladder Cancer Follow-up Care

We continue your care after treatment ends. Our team personalizes a follow-up plan so we can monitor your health, including any long-term side effects of radiation treatment, over time.

Request an Appointment

Call 215-615-5858 to speak with a cancer center representative who can guide you to the right gallbladder cancer expert for your needs. You can also request an appointment online.