Late Diagnoses Lead to Alarming Rise in Gallbladder Cancer Cases in the US 

United States: Recent research reveals that black Americans are currently experiencing a higher incidence of gallbladder cancer than before, while this cancer incidence has not significantly changed and, in some cases, even reduced for the rest of the American population. 

More about the recent finding 

Moreover, there is a growing number of cases among Black people where the disease is detected when the patients are in the late stage, as reported by the research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) on Monday in Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Yazan Abboud, the lead researcher and an internal medicine resident at Rutgers University New Jersey Medical School, said, “Gallbladder cancer diagnosis at a late stage can be highly detrimental, and increasing a person’s risk of death and leading to more intensive and complex cancer treatment,” as US News reported. 

Late Diagnoses Lead to Alarming Rise in Gallbladder Cancer Cases in the US. Credit | Adobe Stock
Late Diagnoses Lead to Alarming Rise in Gallbladder Cancer Cases in the US. Credit | Adobe Stock

More about Gallbladder cancer 

The researchers pointed out that gallbladder cancer either has very few symptoms or none at all in its initial stages that might be indicative of the ailment. 

For this research, the scientists investigated the data of nearly 77,000 patients with gallbladder cancer in the United States, identified in 2001-2020, in the US Cancer Institute’s database, representing nearly 98 percent of the population of the USA. 

It was found that the gallbladder cancer incidence remained similar for the white population and reduced at an average rate of 0.6 percent. 

However, for gallbladder cancer, age-adjusted mortalities rose greater than 1 percent each year on average for Blacks. There was also a regular yearly increase in the number of cases of newly-detected, late-stage tumors by 3 percent on average. 

Abboud said, “This could be due to a lack of timely access to healthcare leading to delayed diagnosis,” as US News reported. 

Gallbladder cancer has been identified as one of the most destructive forms of cancer in the world, with the 5-year survival rate standing at only 19 percent, as the experts revealed. 

Regarding stages of the disease, nearly 43 percent of cancer cases in the current study were in the advanced stage, and this was more prevalent in Black patients, with about 44 percent of their cancers being at the advanced stage as compared to the White and Hispanic patients whose cancer was at the advanced stage 41 percent. 

Researchers said that some of the final signs include having abdominal pain or feeling bloated, losing weight without any change in the diet and having the skin and the whites of the eyes become yellow. 

Further research has to be conducted in the future on the causes for these disparities across racial groups, with hopes of narrowing down detection in its early stages, as Abboud noted.