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Gallbladder cancer

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Follow-up after treatment for gallbladder cancer

Gallbladder cancer behaves differently in each person, and a standard follow-up schedule would not work for everyone. People with gallbladder cancer should talk to their doctor about a follow-up plan that suits their individual situation. Follow-up care is often shared among the cancer specialists (oncologists) and the family doctor.

After treatment has ended, new symptoms and symptoms that don't go away should be reported to the doctor without waiting for the next scheduled appointment. These may include:

  • pain or an increase in pain, especially in the abdomen
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • itching


Because gallbladder cancer is so rare, there are no standard guidelines for follow-up care. Follow-up after gallbladder cancer treatment is tailored to the individual. Regular follow-up is done if the person had surgery to treat their gallbladder cancer.


During a follow-up visit, the doctor usually asks questions about the side effects of treatment, how the person is coping and any symptoms. The doctor may do a complete physical examination.

Tests may be ordered as part of follow-up or if the doctor suspects the cancer has come back (has recurred).

  • Imaging tests, such as a CT scan, may be done if the person has new symptoms.
  • Blood tests may also be done if the person has symptoms.

If a recurrence is found during follow-up, the oncology team will assess the person with cancer to determine the best treatment options.

See a list of questions to ask your doctor about follow-up after treatment.


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