When malignant cells form in the gallbladder, it can lead to gallbladder cancer. If not treated early, the cells can spread to other tissues and organs; metastasis occurs. Approximately nine out of 10 gallbladder cancers are adenocarcinomas, with subtypes including tubular, nodular, and papillary. Subtypes that are less common include adenosquamous carcinoma, signet ring cell, and squamous cell. Oftentimes, the tumor cells need to be checked under a microscope.
The gall bladder is a small pear-shaped organ. It is designed to store a substance called bile. The appearance of bile is a greenish liquid substance. Hepatocytes, which are the cells of the liver, produce bile. The greenish liquid substance aids in the digestion of fats.
Bile emulsifies fats and cause them to accumulate into droplets. This way, they can be easily absorbed in the small intestine. Bile also aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (e.g. A, D, E and K). One’s body also uses bile to discard hemoglobin from old and non-functional red blood cells.
As you can see, the gallbladder has so many functions to perform. It is important that one takes great care of it. If one allows bile to crystallize into small and hard rocks (can be a combination of cholesterol and bile), often via unhealthy eating habits, gallstones can form. That’s when serious problems may start to arise, e.g. gallbladder cancer.
Understanding the Risk Factors of Gallbladder Cancer
Gallbladder cancer is more common among older individuals than the youth. Research has shown that gallstones are one of the factors that increase one’s risk of gallbladder cancer. In some cases, doctors may remove the gallbladder.
Is gallbladder cancer hereditary? Yes, medical studies have proven that family history does increase the chances of gallbladder cancer. An unhealthy diet and obesity are also factors that increase one’s risk of all types of cancers, not just gallbladder cancer.
Medical problems such as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and porcelain gallbladder can increase the risk of gallbladder cancer too. The former is caused when the bile duct becomes inflamed. The latter is caused when calcium deposits fill up within the gallbladder.
It is important to remember that gallbladder polyps are cancerous if they have existed over a long period of time.
Different Methods of Gallbladder Cancer Prevention
Unfortunately, some of the risk factors that were mentioned are beyond our control. There are, however, ways to reduce the risk of gallbladder cancer.
Individuals should exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight and reduce obesity. This is the first way to reduce the risk of almost all cancers.
Next, one must follow a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables. This helps to boost the immune system and protect one from diseases like gallbladder stones and cancer.
If you have read until this point, chances are you have heard of a liver detox. Does it work when it comes to preventing gallbladder cancer?
Some individuals believe that the lifestyle many individuals are accustomed to today are causing them to breathe in more toxic air and depending on processed fast foods for sustenance more than ever. To reverse the negative effects that are caused by these habits, detoxification is one way to do it.
The liver is a crucial organ in the body. It is in charge of detoxifying everything that one eats and drinks in order to enable the body to excrete unwanted toxins and absorb the essential nutrients. If the liver stops functioning properly, the gallbladder will become inefficient. This leads to a dangerous build-up of toxins or the formation of gallbladder stones.
That’s where a good liver detox comes in. The goal is to get rid of the toxins and restart the liver again. Without overdoing it, liver detoxification does offer numerous health benefits. No scientific evidence, however, suggests that a liver detox helps prevent gallbladder cancer or treat gallstones and other diseases.
For individuals, who want to try a liver detox, should avoid excessive amounts of alcohol consumption and the consumption of foods that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol. These elements can weaken the detoxification process and stress the liver out.
Now that the question has been answered, below is a detailed look at how liver detoxification works.
How Does Liver Detox Work?
Also known as a liver flush, gallbladder flush, or gallbladder cleanse, a liver detox is an alternative remedy for flushing gallstones out of one’s body. It involves the individual preparing half a cup or more of a mixture that is comprised of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), citrus juice, and vegetable oil. This is usually consumed after a brief fast.
Sometime after taking the mixture, the individual may start to notice black, yellow, brown, or green blobs of varying sizes in their bowel movements. Although their appearance is somewhat similar to gallstones, they are not actually the stones you are expecting to expel out of your body. They are the result of a partial saponification (formation of bile-stained soaps) of the oil.
Is Liver Detoxification Risk-Free?
Liver detox is not without risk. Some individuals may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea during the detoxification process. Additionally, individual components of the self-made mixture may present their own health hazards.
Individuals with no complicating factors and are in reasonable health, however, do not experience adverse effects from the detox most of the time.
Still Concerned About Gallbladder Cancer?
Remember, you don’t have to remove your gallbladder. Although some cancers were prevented by removing the gallbladders of individuals with gallstones, it may not be viable option for you. You see, gallstones are very common. Gallbladder cancer is quite rare. Doctors do not recommend removing one’s gallbladder unless the gallstones are causing serious problems (e.g. a long-standing gallstone disease such as porcelain gallbladder). The possible complications and risks of a surgery like this do not outweigh the possible benefit.
What should one do?
As mentioned, it is important that you stay active and follow a healthy diet and avoid being overweight. These are much safer ways to reduce one’s risk of gallbladder cancer, and in fact, many other types of cancer. Try adding more plant foods into your diet.
If one consumes too much junk foods or fatty foods, they risk allowing stones to get stuck in the wrong place. This may provoke biliary colic or medical complications like acute pancreatitis.