When we speak of gallbladder cancer risk factors, we refer to certain possibilities that make a person more vulnerable to contract this severe medical condition. And this article is centered around all such factors.
Among the many uncommon types of cancer that affect people, the condition of gallbladder cancer is one. It tends to affect women more than their opposite sex. Although uncommon, the disease can have severe repercussions on the patient’s health. When detected at an earlier stage thus, treated, the prognosis is a bright one. However, in most cases, the story runs differently. Most people get diagnosed when the cancer has already made it to an advanced stage, and then, there is very little that can be done for the cure.
What Increases Susceptibility to Gallbladder Cancer?
Before I begin with this segment, it is essential to know that having a risk factor does not necessitate the fact that the person is deemed to contract the cancer. This is because, there have been cases, wherein people considered vulnerable did not develop the disease, whereas, some people who did, did not have any risk factors whatsoever.
# As what has been observed by most experts, people who have had a history of gallstones, get diagnosed by the cancer we are speaking of here. Gallstones are the hard deposits of digestive fluid called bile. Reports reveal that out of 4 people who have the cancer, 3 of them have gallstones. However, even in this case, the cancer is a rare occurrence.
# Being a woman could also be considered to be a risk of gallbladder cancer. Women stay 7-10 times more vulnerable to get affected by this disease, when compared to men. One reason behind this may be the fact that, medical problems such as gallstones and inflammation of the gallbladder happen to be more common in women than in men.
# The occurrence of gallbladder cancer in people over the age 50, in most cases, explains another risk factor that is related to aging. Most cases are associated with older people, although younger people are also involved, but the ratio is too less in comparison. If we consider 10 people with cancer of the gallbladder, then it is most likely that 9 of them would be over 65 years of age.
# Obesity is one common health nuisance that plagues many people. And it makes a person vulnerable to many types of cancers, including that of the gallbladder. One of the several ill effects that obesity may trigger in the body is a series of unwanted hormonal changes, which is more potent in women. And experts believe that these very changes increase the risk of developing the cancer.
# Gallbladder polyps is the next name to be included in the list of the factors that make a person susceptible to contract cancer of the gallbladder. These polyps are identified as growths on the surface lining of the bladder. But not all of these growths are cancerous, and this can be determined by their size. A polyp that is less than 1/2 inch is nothing to be concerned of, as it is most likely to be benign. Whereas, for one that is bigger than that, may indicate a cancer.
# Taking it down to the sixth risk factor, it is what is known as porcelain gallbladder. It is a complication that is caused by the condition of gallstones. As the name suggests, this condition occurs when the inside wall of the gallbladder gets calcified, and resembles a porcelain ceramic. So having this problem may also risk a person to develop the cancer.
# Smoking is related to many types of cancer including that of the gallbladder. The carcinogens in cigarettes are believed to alter the DNA of the cells of the body, which can eventually cause the cells to grow and divide abnormally thus, becoming cancerous. To add to this, people working in metal or rubber industry also stay in a high risk zone to be affected by this disease.
Besides the above mentioned ones, other risk factors may include typhoid, prolonged exposure to industrial and environmental chemicals, and hormone replacement therapy. Before I conclude, as I have already mentioned before, it is not a certainty for people having all such risk factors to develop the cancer, as on the whole, the occurrence of the disease is uncommon.