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Gallbladder cancer

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Follow-up after treatment for gallbladder cancer

Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for gallbladder cancer is often shared among the cancer specialists and your family doctor. Your healthcare team will work with you to decide on follow-up care to meet your needs.

Don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to report any new symptoms and symptoms that don’t go away. Tell your healthcare team if you have:

  • pain or an increase in pain in the abdomen
  • jaundice
  • itching

The chance that gallbladder cancer will come back (recur) is greatest within 2 years, so close follow-up is needed during this time.

Schedule for follow-up visits

Follow-up visits for gallbladder cancer are usually scheduled every 6 months after treatment is finished.

During follow-up visits

During a follow-up visit, your healthcare team will usually ask questions about the side effects of treatment and how you’re coping.

Your doctor may do a physical exam, including:

  • feeling the abdomen for any lumps, tenderness, swelling or fluid
  • looking at the whites of the eyes and skin for yellowing (a sign of jaundice)
  • feeling the lymph nodes in the groin

Tests are often part of follow-up care. If you have new symptoms, you may have:

  • imaging tests, such as a CT scan
  • blood tests

If the cancer has come back, you and your healthcare team will discuss a plan for your treatment and care.

Questions to ask about follow-up

To make the decisions that are right for you, ask your healthcare team questions about follow-up.

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