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The following are treatment options for stage I gallbladder cancer. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with cancer.
Stage I gallbladder cancers are often found by accident when gallbladder surgery is done for gallstones or chronic inflammation. Gallbladder cancers found at an early stage are more likely to be completely removed by surgery (resectable) than cancers found at a later stage.
Surgery is the primary treatment for stage I gallbladder cancer. A simple cholecystectomy to remove the gallbladder is usually all that is needed for early stage gallbladder cancer.
There is limited data that supports giving external beam radiation therapy, with or without chemotherapy, after surgery for stage I gallbladder cancer. A few studies have reported improved survival after giving adjuvant therapyadjuvant therapyTreatment given in addition to the first-line therapy (the first or standard treatment) to help reduce the risk of a disease (such as cancer) coming back (recurring).. The use of adjuvant therapy after surgery is controversial. It may be offered as part of a clinical trial.
People with gallbladder cancer may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.
The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.