Gallbladder Cancer Clinical Presentation

Updated: Apr 30, 2018
  • Author: Mary Denshaw-Burke, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Presentation

History

The symptoms of gallbladder cancer overlap with the symptoms of gallstones and biliary colic. Abdominal pain may be of a more diffuse and persistent nature than the classic right upper quadrant pain of gallstone disease. Jaundice, anorexia, and weight loss often indicate more advanced disease. [17]

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Physical

See the list below:

  • Jaundice

  • Palpable mass in the right upper quadrant (Courvoisier sign, if this is due to a palpable gallbladder)

  • Periumbilical lymphadenopathy (Sister Mary Joseph nodes)

  • Left supraclavicular adenopathy (Virchow node)

  • Pelvic seeding: Mass is palpated on digital rectal examination (Blumer shelf).

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Causes

See Pathophysiology. Associated conditions include the following:

  • Chronic gallstones

  • Calcification of the gallbladder (porcelain gallbladder) - 10-25% incidence of gallbladder cancer

  • Crohn ileocolitis

  • Ulcerative colitis

  • Occupational chemical exposure

  • Estrogens

  • Typhoid carriers

  • Anomalous pancreatobiliary duct junction

  • Gallbladder polyps

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