Fighting cancer is never an easy task. It is like fighting a battle while not having much hope for the result. Most times, it also feels like fighting a losing battle. Especially when the cancer you are fighting does not have a favourable prognosis. One such cancer is gallbladder cancer. While on the surface, it may seem like an easy enough disease to deal with by just removing the organ from the body, often gallbladder cancer is found only after the inflamed gallbladder has been removed from the body. And by this point, cancer has spread to different body parts, making the illness hard to beat.
What makes it more difficult to accept the prognosis of the disease is that when a person has gallstones in the bladder, it is very easy to deal with the illness. However, this does not mean that a person should give up. Any individual diagnosed with gallbladder cancer should get gallbladder cancer insurance. When you have health insurance coverage for gallbladder cancer, you can stay prepared for any treatment you may be asked to undergo. A health insurance plan allows you the best chance of making a recovery and offers you peace of mind.
If you are seeking good health insurance to help fight your cancer, you should look at the plans offered by Tata AIG. Our medical insurance is curated to help you afford the best care money can buy while not having to worry about finances. The health insurance plans we offer are comprehensive while not being very expensive, making them accessible to all. And you also get the usual health insurance tax benefits that medical insurance brings. So when it comes to a health insurance plan, always choose Tata AIG.
Keeping all this in mind, let us look into gallbladder cancer and its implications.
What is Gallbladder Cancer?
A malignant cell change that begins in the gallbladder is known as gallbladder carcinoma or cancer. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped body part below your liver on the right edge of the stomach. Bile, a digestion fluid generated by your liver, is kept in the gallbladder. Cancer of the gallbladder is rare. The likelihood of a cure is relatively high if gallbladder carcinoma is found in its early phases. However, most gallbladder cancers are found in the late stages, when the outlook is frequently very dismal. Since gallbladder carcinoma frequently exhibits no particular indications or symptoms, it might not be identified until it has progressed. Gallbladder cancer is also more likely to spread undetected due to the gallbladder's relative seclusion in the abdomen. This is also why gallstones in the bladder are not usually detected until the very end stages of the disease. Getting gallbladder cancer is often very rare. However, if found early, a patient's chances of making a full recovery increase significantly.
Types of Gallbladder Cancer
You can learn which kind of cell cancer originated by looking at its type. Gallbladder cancer can take different forms. Since the gallbladder contains a wide variety of cell types, there are numerous forms of gallbladder cancer. Theoretically, any of the following cell types could transform into cancer.
Adenocarcinoma- The cancer is an adenocarcinoma if it originates in glandular cells. It qualifies as a squamous cell cancer if it originates in the skin, similar to the cell walls of the gallbladder, for example. The most typical form of gallbladder cancer is this one. Adenocarcinomas make up over 85 of every 100 cases of gallbladder cancer. The gallbladder wall's gland cells are where cancer first develops. Normally, these glandular cells secrete mucus.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma- Squamous cell tumours originate from the gland and skin-like cells that line the gallbladder. They receive the same medical care as adenocarcinomas. Squamous cell tumours make up only about 5 out of every 100 cases of gallbladder cancer (about 5%).
Adenosquamous Carcinomas- Squamous, as well as glandular cancerous cells, coexist in adenosquamous carcinomas. This may be classified as mixed histology by your doctor. Treatment for these cancers is the same as for adenocarcinomas.
Small Cell Carcinoma- Oat cell carcinoma is another name for small cell carcinoma. This is due to the characteristic oat-like form of the cancer cells.
Neuroendocrine Cancer- Rare malignancies called neuroendocrine tumours (NET) develop from hormone-producing organs, typically in the gastrointestinal tract. The most commonly found variety of NET is a carcinoid.
Sarcoma- The term "sarcoma" refers to cancer targeting the body's connective tissues or supportive or protective structures. Connective tissues include blood arteries, neurons, and muscles. Therefore, sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in the muscular layer of the gallbladder.
Lymphoma- These kinds of gallbladder cancer are incredibly uncommon. They might not always receive the same care as the other sorts. For instance, radiation and chemotherapy frequently have positive effects on lymphomas. As a result, undergoing surgery to remove a lymphoma is quite improbable.
Gallbladder Cancer Stages
Whether or not cancer has moved (metastasised) outside of its initial site is one of the main worries. Your healthcare professional will give the diagnosis a numeral value (zero to five) to represent the rate at which your cancer spreads. The more the number grows, the further cancer has advanced throughout the body; it is known as staging.
Stage 0: Stage 0 describes cancer that has only spread to the gallbladder's mucosal lining.
Stage 1: The malignancy has reached the layer of the muscles.
Stage 2: The disease has moved from the layer of muscles to the surface of connective tissues.
Stage 3: The tumour has affected the liver or nearby organs, the outermost part of the gallbladder, or perhaps the lymph nodes.
Stage 4: More than three neighbouring lymph nodes, close-by blood vessels, and distant organs have been affected by the malignancy.
Gallbladder Cancer Causes
What specifically causes gallbladder cancer is unknown to doctors. They are aware that, like other cancers, an alteration in an individual's DNA results in unchecked, explosive cell development. A lump, or tumour, develops as the cell count rapidly rises. If left untreated, these cells gradually expand to distant regions of the body as well as neighbouring tissue. The collecting cells create a tumour, which has the potential to move outside of the gallbladder and to other parts of the body. The epithelial layers surrounding the gallbladder's internal layer are where most gallbladder cancers start. Adenocarcinoma, which develops in these cells, is the medical term for gallbladder cancer. When cancer cells are inspected under a microscope, they take on this description.
Risk elements raise the likelihood of gallbladder cancer. A greatly inflamed gallbladder causes the majority of them. Barring this, some risk factors may give rise to gallbladder carcinoma. These risk factors need not guarantee that you will develop cancer. It indicates that your odds of acquiring it could be higher than someone who doesn't run the risk.
These risk factors include
Gallstones in the Bladder- When the bile in the gallbladder comprises an excessive amount of cholesterol or bilirubin, a pigmentation created when red blood cells oxidise, and gallstones, which are small, hardened pieces of material, can develop. Your gallbladder gets inflamed if gallstones in the bladder obstruct the bile channels that exit the liver or gallbladder. Cholecystitis is the technical term for this condition, which can be either short-term or chronic. The leading cause of cholecystitis-related chronic inflammation is gallbladder cancer.
Porcelain-like Gallbladder- Your gallbladder will appear white, resembling porcelain, due to the calcification of its walls. This is an inflammatory condition that can follow chronic cholecystitis.
Polyps- Sometimes, a certain number of polyps may form in your gallbladder. Approximately 5% of these polyps can turn out to be cancerous.
Age- People over 65 are often affected by gallbladder cancer. On average, people usually learn they have the disease when they are 72 years old.
Bile Duct Issues- Bile can build up in the gallbladder due to abnormalities in the biliary tract that prevent it from flowing normally. Inflammation brought on by this raises the possibility of gallbladder cancer.
Sclerosing Cholangitis- Your chance of developing bile duct or gallbladder cancer increases when scarring results from bile duct infection.
Typhoid- Typhoid is brought on by Salmonella bacteria. The incidence of gallbladder carcinoma is increased in people with long-lasting, chronic infections that are symptomatic or not.
Gallbladder Cancer Symptoms
Gallbladder cancer often doesn't show any signs until it's quite advanced. Because of this, when it is discovered, it has typically already migrated to neighbouring lymphatic vessels and organs or other regions of your body.
However, here are a few recognisable symptoms that a patient may experience.
Sudden and severe pain in the upper stomach.
Feeling of nausea or vomiting.
Formation of a lump under the skin.
Tenderness in the stomach.
Feeling sick at the smell of food.
Puffiness in the stomach.
An appearance of jaundice even when you do not have the disease.
Unanticipated weight loss.
Bumpy texture of the abdomen.
Urine which is dark and has a distinct odour
Gallbladder Cancer Diagnosis
Gallbladder cancer is frequently discovered after it has spread since there are rarely warning indicators or symptoms, and even those symptoms match those of other disorders. Usually, it is identified when you are required to get your gallbladder excised or get gallstones extracted. Your doctor will check you and enquire regarding your health history if they believe you may have gallbladder cancer. Then, your provider will do additional testing, such as
Blood Chemistries: Blood chemistries can detect if there are any concentrations of particular types of compounds in the blood, particularly any that might be cancer-related.
Live Function Test: It can detect whether your liver has already been impacted by gallbladder cancer since it examines the levels of specific compounds generated by your organ.
Test for Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA): Calculates CEA levels (a tumour marker detected in normal and cancerous cells).
CA 19-9- Test- The CA 19-9 assay checks the amount of the tumour marker in your blood. Healthy and cancerous cells can produce this chemical. Higher levels might be a sign of gallbladder cancer.
USG: Using abdominal ultrasonography, you use sound waves to produce images of the organs inside your abdomen.
CT Scan: A variety of X-rays produces finely detailed images of inside organs.
MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a process that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of the inside of the body.
ERCP: Using an X-ray method called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), images of the bile ducts are captured. Gallbladder cancer can constrict these channels further.
Biopsy: A biopsy is a technique wherein samples of cells are taken out and put under a microscope to check for malignancy.
Laparoscopy: A surgical technique in which your belly is punctured with a tiny incision, and a laparoscope, a narrow, lighted tube, is introduced to allow a view inside the organs.
Gallbladder Cancer Treatment
As we have mentioned, gallbladder cancer prognosis is better when the disease is found and dealt with early on. In the same way, the mode of treatment your doctor takes will also impact the course your doctor wishes to take. A few different directions your doctor may choose to go with your treatment.
Cholecystectomy: A cholecystectomy is the complete excision of the gallbladder and surrounding tissue. During this process, the surgeon may also remove a portion of the liver next to the gallbladder, as well as lymph nodes nearby.
Radiation: High doses of radiation are used in radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells and prevent them from increasing while causing the least harm to healthy cells. Radiation is directed towards your cancer using a device outside of your body. The following side effects are possible after radiation therapy: skin issues, uneasiness and vomiting, fatigue, liver problems, and/or diarrhoea.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy entails the use of medications to either kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Drugs used in chemotherapy might be injected or ingested orally. Exhaustion, easy bruises, easy haemorrhaging, infections, baldness, mouth ulcers, lack of appetite, diarrhoea, anxiety, and vomiting are some of the adverse effects of chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy- Sometimes, your doctor may try immunotherapy when nothing else is working. This therapy gives you some medication to push your immune system into overdrive. When the medications start working, they may kickstart your immune system, killing cancer from within.
Prevention of Gallbladder Cancer
Gallbladder cancer cannot be prevented because most risk factors, like age and race, cannot be altered. A balanced lifestyle, nevertheless, may help you reduce your risk. Here are some pointers for leading a healthy lifestyle:
Body Weight: This is a significant component of maintaining a balanced lifestyle and among the key strategies for reducing your chance of developing many cancers, such as gallbladder cancer.
Balanced Diet: Consuming fruits and vegetables help strengthen your immunity system and keep you healthy. You may maintain your health by consuming whole grains rather than refined grains and avoiding processed foods.
Exercising: Achieving and sustaining a moderate weight and bolstering your immune system are two advantages of daily exercise.
Screenings: Get screened for cancer if you or someone from your immediate family circle has had gallbladder cancer. Also, get yourself checked thoroughly if you have gallstones.
Why Use Medical Insurance
A health insurance plan has always been and will continue to be a popular investment option given its need in our society. Getting treatment becomes considerably cheaper when you have medical insurance. It also helps you get peace of mind.
Here are some reasons having a health insurance plan is a good option.
Cashless Hospitalisation- Whenever a situation comes up when you are required to get admitted for treatment or surgery, you need to keep some amount of money ready to pay the preliminary fees. This sum is not a small amount of money; in some cases, you may need to break your savings or borrow money to pay this amount. Both instances will lead to loss of money. However, if you are admitted in a Tata AIG network hospital, this no longer remains a concern. Your gallbladder cancer insurance will cover all costs and clear the payments without you having to be involved. This is also very convenient, given that you do not have to consider applying for reimbursements later.
Ambulance fees- Most persons might request an ambulance if they become seriously ill and need to be hospitalised. The cost of requesting a private ambulance might be very high. You should not stress if you have Tata AIG's health insurance coverage for gallbladder cancer since we will pay for your ambulance trip so you can get your treatment without any problems.
Lifestyle Adjustments- All of us are more susceptible to a wide range of illnesses due to leading a fast-paced lifestyle and being constantly on the go without getting enough nutrition or relaxation. You can catch a second illness while you're receiving treatment for the first. Your healthcare expenses rise significantly as a result of everything. However, you can receive the finest care without concern about expense if you have trustworthy medical insurance.
Pre and Post-Hospitalisation Payments- When it comes to treatments, people often forget to factor in the associated expenditures before and after hospitalisation. However, these costs can add up to a significant sum. Take an MRI, for example. If you are asked for an MRI pre-surgery, it can cost you several thousand rupees in addition to all the other expenses you incur. However, if you have a health insurance plan from Tata AIG, these payments will be looked after without your intervention. You will find it to be a huge relief in the long run.
How to Buy Tata AIG’s Health Insurance Plan
If you wish to purchase gallbladder cancer insurance from Tata AIG, you will be glad to hear that it isn’t much you need to do. Tata AIG always places the comfort of clients first, so you can be assured that the procedures are simple to follow and do not take up much time. We will discuss both methods to understand which you want to follow.
Online- If you want to buy a policy online from us, here is what you are required to do.
Visit our website and choose the person(s) for whom you wish to purchase health insurance. You have the choice to purchase medical insurance for your parents, spouse, kids, and yourself.
Once you have identified the insured, select "Get Plan."
Give Tata AIG the necessary information, and we will recommend the best policies for you.
To view the premium amount, choose the insured amount using the drop-down menu on the following page.
The various options can be compared to see which one best suits you.
Choose the package you want to purchase, then click "Buy Now."
You will hear from one of our specialists for more advice.
If all goes well, you will receive a soft copy of your policy in just a few minutes.
Offline- If you wish to purchase a policy physically, follow the steps below.
Find a Tata AIG location in your area and stop by.
Mention that you want to purchase insurance at the counter.
Our insurance specialist will visit you to go over your options.
Once you've made your decision, complete the application.
Verify the information you have entered, then attach any necessary documents.
You should submit the application at the desk.
Payment of the application charges.
Once things get verified, you will receive your policy at home in a few days post-application.
Documents Required to Buy Tata AIG’s Medical Insurance
If you wish to purchase health insurance coverage for gallbladder cancer, you will need to submit these documents.
Recent coloured photographs
Any documents detailing your health history
Other Health Pages
Disclaimer / TnC
Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.
Frequently Asked Question
Does removing the gallbladder imply that gallbladder cancer will be gone?
Removing the gallbladder does not necessarily mean that you will be cancer free. It depends on your cancer's stage and if it has metastasised.
Can gallbladder cancer return if I am in remission?
Yes, it is possible that your cancer returns even if it has been cured completely.
What is the most obvious symptom of gallbladder cancer?
Severe pain in the upper stomach and the feeling of nausea should be the most obvious first signs of gallbladder cancer.
What is the best insurance option for gallbladder cancer?
Getting critical illness insurance is your best bet to fight gallbladder cancer