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
The chance that gallbladder cancer will come back (recur) is greatest within 2 years, so close follow-up is needed during this time.
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Follow-up visits for gallbladder cancer are usually scheduled every 6 months after treatment is finished.
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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.
Gallbladder cancer. American Cancer Society. Gallbladder Cancer. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2014.
Hodgin MB . Gallbladder and bile duct cancer. Yarbro, CH, Wujcki D, & Holmes Gobel B. (eds.). Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2011: Chapter 55. pp: 1316-1333.
Patel,T. and Borad, M.J. . Cancer of the biliary tree. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, & Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015: 53:715-733.