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Gallbladder Cancer

Overview :

Bile from the liver is funneled into the gallbladder by way of the cystic duct. Between meals, the gallbladder stores a large amount of bile. To do this, it must absorb much of the water and electrolytes from the bile. In fact, the inner surface of the gallbladder is the most absorptive surface in the body. After a meal, the gallbladder's muscular walls contract to deliver the bile back through the cystic duct and eventually into the small intestine, where the bile can help digest food.


About 5,000 people are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer each year in the United States, making it the fifth most common gastrointestinal cancer. It is more common in females than males and most patients are elderly. Southwest American Indians have a particularly high incidence—six times that of the general population.

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