Gallbladder Cancer Diagnosis

One reason gallbladder cancer diagnosis presents difficulty is because the gallbladder hides behind the liver.  Tests that look at the gallbladder and nearby organs are used to find, diagnose and stage gallbladder cancer. 

Diagnosing Gallbladder Cancer at Fletcher Allen

Fletcher Allen’s physicians are specially trained in advanced technology to diagnose gallbladder cancer.

  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) uses a dye to highlight the tubes (called ducts) that fill and drain the bile from the gallbladder.  During ERCP, a flexible, lighted scope (called endoscope) is inserted through the mouth and gently moved down the throat, through your stomach and into the upper part of your small intestine (called duodenum).  Then, a dye is injected into the bile ducts through a small hollow tube (called catheter) that's passed through the endoscope.  Lastly, the doctor takes X-rays of the ducts.  Sometimes doctors use ERCP to take a tissue or cell sample (called biopsy).
  • Imaging tests - Your doctor may order any of the following, which take pictures of the inside of your body:  
  • Laparoscopy uses small cuts to insert a tiny camera so the surgeon can see if the cancer has spread from the gallbladder.
  • Blood tests examine your liver function.

Learn more about gallbladder cancer treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 877-540-HOPE (4673).