The gallbladder is a part of a the body that stores bile juice which is secreted by the liver to help in the digestion of foods through the small intestine. Inflammation in the lining of the gall bladder and gall bladder stones are the most common causes of gallbladder cancer. Even though this is considered the rarest form of cancer, Indian women in the North and Northeast see an increasing rise of this cancer.

The other risk factors of gallbladder cancer are as follows:

  • Gall bladder cancer is more common among the older generation than the young.
  • Gall bladder stones is another factor that increases the risks of gall bladder cancer. These stones are hardened lumps that are formed when cholesterol gets mixed with other substances like bile. The common result is to remove the stones or in more serious circumstances the removal of the gall bladder is suggested.

Integrative Medicine and Lifestyle Nutritionist Luke Coutinho explains why gall bladder cancer removal should be the last resort. – 

Is gallbladder cancer hereditary? 

Yes, Studies prove that family history increases the chance of gallbladder cancer.

  • Porcelain gallbladder is one where the calcium deposits fills up inside the gall bladder which increases the risk of gall bladder cancer.
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is condition wherein the inflammation of the bile duct occurs that increases the risks of gall bladder cancer.
  • If gallbladder polyps cancerous is a doubt that most people have. The answer to this is: it’s cancerous, only if it exists over a long period of time.
  • Salmonella infection is also a factor that increases the risk of gallbladder cancer in North India.

Along with all of this, obesity and diet will also increase the risk of all types of cancers, including gall bladder cancer.

How do we prevent gallbladder cancer?

While some of the above risk factors are beyond our control, there is a lot that we can do to prevent gallbladder cancer.

  • Exercise

Exercising will reduce obesity and help maintain a healthy weight which in turn reduces the risk of cancer. Movement and exercise keeps the essential organs in the body functioning well and the digestive system strong, which in turn regulates the liver and gall bladder to perform adequately.

  • Diet

Following a diet rich in vegetables and fruits will boost your immune system and protect you from diseases like cancer or gallbladder stones. Using whole wheat grains instead of refined grains and limiting the intake of processed foods should be included in your diet. Nutrition plays a pivotal role in the formation of gallbladder stones. A unregulated or toxic diet that is high in saturated fats and sugars leads to the formation on gallbladder stones. Therefore maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is essential.

  • Protecting your liver

With the kind of lifestyle we follow today, the toxic air we breathe and the processed fast foods we succumb to on a daily bases, detoxification is important. The liver is one of the most crucial organs in your body. It’s involved in the imperative job of detoxifying everything that we eat and drink in order to enable the body to absorb the essential nutrients and excrete the toxins. If the liver isn’t functioning well, there is a build-up of toxins, leading to an inefficient gallbladder and formation of gallbladder stones. Diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats are a major contributor to this. Also excessive amounts of alcohol consumption puts the liver into overdrive, stressing the organ out and eventually weakening the detoxification process. A good liver detox is sometimes essential in getting rid of the toxins and kick-starting your liver again.

Along with all of this, making healthier choices like avoiding to smoke, limiting alcohol, managing stress levels and indulging in quality sleep are some measures that can be taken. Gallbladder cancer is not as common and sometimes detection takes a long time after the cancer occurs, so keeping your gallbladder healthy through detoxification and all the points listed above is very important.