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Feb 22 8:00am

Hidden gallbladder and bile duct cancers

By Jennifer O'Hara, @jenohara


The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that sits just beneath the liver, on the right side of the abdomen. Slender tubes that carry bile fluid also are also located in that area. Because of the relatively hidden nature of the gallbladder and bile ducts, cancers can grow without being detected. Late detection can mean a poor prognosis.

Dr. Kabir Mody, past co-chair of the Hepatobiliary Disease Group at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, says February is the awareness month set aside to educate people about these rare cancers.

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Mody talks about symptoms, detection, surgical interventions and treatments for gallbladder and bile ducts cancers.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

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Can you get this type of cancer if you don't have a gallbladder? baz10


Can you get this type of cancer if you don't have a gallbladder? baz10

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@baz10, if you had cancer in the gallbladder that had spread to other parts of the body, then it is possible to have gallbladder cancer without a gallbladder. However, it is likely that the cancer would have been detected on the removed gallbladder and treatment options suggested. Are you concerned that you have cancer?


Oh! I was just asking a generic question. My gallbladder was removed in 1978. Thanks for replying. baz10

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