Gallbladder Cancer Diagnosis

Gallbladder cancer is often found in the later stages because it usually does not cause any symptoms earlier1. It is sometimes found after the gallbladder is removed for other reasons, such as gallstones or chronic cholecystitis (long-term inflammation of the gallbladder).

The process of diagnosis may seem long and frustrating. It’s normal to worry, but try to remember that other health conditions can cause similar symptoms as gallbladder cancer. It’s important for the healthcare team to rule out other reasons for a health problem before making a diagnosis of gallbladder cancer.

The following tests are commonly used to rule out or diagnose gallbladder cancer:

  • Blood chemistry tests
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • Tumour marker tests
  • Biopsy
  • Angiography
  • Laparoscopy
  • MRI
  • PTC (percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography)
  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)

1 The information on this page was provided by the Canadian Cancer Society.