Coping with a diagnosis of gallbladder cancer | Cancer Research UK
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Coping with a diagnosis of gallbladder cancer

It can be very difficult coping with a diagnosis of cancer, both practically and emotionally. You are likely to be feeling very upset and confused. As well as coping with the fear and anxiety that a diagnosis of cancer brings, you have to work out how to manage practically. Our coping with cancer section contains lots of information you may find helpful. There are sections on

  • Your feelings
  • Talking to people: who and what to tell
  • Talking to children
  • How you can help yourself
  • Who else can help you
  • Sick pay and benefits: coping financially

CR PDF Icon View a summary of living with gallblladder cancer.


Coping with your diagnosis

It can be very difficult coping with a diagnosis of gallbladder cancer, both practically and emotionally. At first, you are likely to feel very upset, frightened and confused. Or that things are out of your control. It is very important to get the right information about your type of cancer and how it is best treated. People who are well informed about their illness and treatment are more able to make decisions and cope with what happens.


How gallbladder cancer can affect you physically

Gallbladder cancer and its treatment may cause physical changes in your body. These changes can be very difficult to cope with and may affect the way you feel about yourself. Such changes can affect your self esteem and the way you relate to other people, especially close family and friends. Another problem you may have to cope with is feeling very tired and lethargic a lot of the time, especially for a while after treatment or if the gallbladder cancer is advanced. There is information on fatigue and cancer and treating cancer fatigue in the section on coping physically with cancer. Gallbladder cancer can make it more difficult for you to digest food, especially if you have surgery. There is information about diet and gallbladder cancer in this section.

If you are having a sexual relationship, one or all of these changes may affect your sex life. There is information about how cancer can affect your sex life in our coping with cancer section.


Coping practically with gallbladder cancer

As well as coping with the fear and anxiety that a diagnosis of gallbladder cancer brings, you may also have to work out how to manage practically. There may be money matters to sort out. You may need information about financial support, such as benefits, sick pay and grants. Who do you tell that you have cancer? And how do you find the words? You may also have children to think about. We have information about talking to people about your cancer and how and what to tell children.

Just try to remember that you do not have to sort everything out at once. It may take some time to deal with each issue. Do ask for help if you need it though. It is likely that your doctor or specialist nurse will know who you can contact to get some help - they can put you in touch with people specially trained in supporting those with cancer. These people are there to help and want you to feel that you have support. So use them if you feel you need to.


Where to find more information on coping with gallbladder cancer

Our coping with cancer section  has lots of helpful information. There are sections on

If you would like more detailed information about coping with gallbladder cancer, contact our cancer information nurses. They will be happy to help.

You can also find details of counselling organisations, that can tell you more about counselling and help you find sources of emotional support in your area.

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Updated: 24 June 2014