Discussion Board Forums General Discussion Past medical history of infected gallstones & link to CC risk?

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    My mom was diagnosed with CC in March of this year. She had a ruptured gallstone back in the late 70’s and hundreds of stones were removed. It was a long operation because of the locations of the stones. When she was first diagnosed with CC, I also wondered about the connection.


    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by karend.


    I have read through the study that you posted, and it is a very interesting study. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

    I so wish that I could give you an answer that would be of help to you, but I just do not have one. I remember very well feeling frustrated with the lack of clear diagnostic information when my mother in law was diagnosed. I felt I should have seen that something was wrong, that her physicians must have missed something, that there had to have been some sign that she had cancer.

    Unfortunately, there are currently no early diagnostic tests, tumor markers, or anything of the sort that would flag someone as having developed cholangiocarcinoma…or at least none that I know of. I must say that I feel if there were a clear association between gallstones/cholecystectomy and bile duct cancer, that the incidence rate would be rising exponentially. Unfortunately, the current evidence does not strongly suggest that this is the case. But this is just what I know, and I am certainly not an oncologist or a researcher. I am however, someone who has been where you are, and I too continue to look for information that may lead me to a greater understanding of this disease.

    It is important to know as well that researchers have taken notice of this disease within the last few years. Work is diligently being done to discover why this disease develops, and how it can be treated.

    Again, I am very sorry that I cannot give you a clearer answer.



    If I may, I’d like to send this discussion thread out to Oncology Nurse and Patient Advocate, KarenD, regarding this theory and study. I would like to hear your opinion regarding this association. Also, if you have some idea of how long ICC may have been present before diagnosis; specifically if passing occurred within 12 weeks from diagnosis/clinical symptoms.

    Thanks ahead, KarenD:)


    Here is a relatively recent retrospective study (I just found) by the reputable NCI in Bethesda, Maryland. This lends credence to my theory of linkage between gallstones and/or cholecystectomy with development of biliary tree cancer or cholangiocarcinoma (even after months or years).



    Good Morning, Annie and Nancy. You might try going to our Search Engine at the top of the page and just type in Gallstone and see what posts come up. There may be someone who posted where they thought the Gallbladder had Cancer. Teddy had a Whipple and they removed his Gall Bladder but that was 10 years ago and I don’t honestly remember what was said about it. Good hunting!


    Dear Annie,

    I’m also curious about the link of gallstones with CC. My dear mother had gallstone issues from 2011 but they were never treated. She then became ill at the end of August with jaundice and unfortunately passed away October. It was a quick illness though I do remember her complaining of digestion problems for a while. I know she was stubborn and didn’t want to entertain the idea of any surgeries and investigations, but it does make me wonder if she had sorted out the gallstones, then maybe she wouldn’t have got the cancer. It’s just a thought.

    My best wishes to you.


    As soon as my loved one was discovered to have CC, I immediately wondered if his PMH of infected/inflamed gallstones from 2009 (requiring gallbladder removal surgery), caused increased risk for developing CC in the present year. During ERCP, a couple stones were found and removed. My theory is, irritation and inflammation is set up with these stones, which can lead to precancerous cells, then cancer cells. I have found a meta-analysis study linking cholescystectomy with heightened risk of liver cancer.
    If there is a linkage, it angers me that a subset of cholescystecomy patients are not having these areas monitored more closely over the years. Of course, I hear there is no screening test for this disease and you cannot scan all these people if not symptomatic.

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