February is Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month

Submitted by Elizabeth on

February is Gallbladder Cancer and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month. Because Gallbladder Cancer and Bile Duct Cancer are relatively rare, the general public does not have much knowledge about these two types of cancer. As such, having a Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month gives health care providers an opportunity to boost awareness of these two cancers.

While the exact causes of Gallbladder Cancer are unknown, the main risk factor is thought to be having a history of gallstones. And people who have an increased risk of developing Bile Duct Cancer are those who have chronic (long-standing) bile duct inflammation.

What is Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer?

The gallbladder is a relatively small organ that, through bile ducts, is connected to the liver. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile which is a substance that is produced by the liver to help in the process of digesting dietary fats. Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer are often called Cholangiocarcinoma. When cancer starts in the gallbladder, it normally first shows up in the innermost layers and then slowly spreads to neighboring tissues. Because the gallbladder is such a small organ that is concealed by the liver it is often difficult to detect cancer here. Some of the first signs and symptoms of Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer are:

  • unexplained weight loss;
  • nausea;
  • jaundice when the skin and whites of the eye take on a yellowish appearance;
  • fever;
  • black, tarry stools;
  • abdominal pain and swelling.

Treatment is routine if the cancer has not spread and is in a place where surgery can be undertaken safely in order to eliminate the tumor as well as remove some of the tissue bordering the tumor. This removal reduces the chance of the cancer recurring. Chemotherapy—either with or without radiation therapy—may also be given following surgery.

How Does Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Qualify For Disability Benefits?

Because Gallbladder Cancer can be found in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Blue Book under section 13.19 which covers cancer of the liver, gallbladder, or bile ducts, it may be possible to qualify for disability benefits with this type of cancer. However, it is critically important to provide accurate evidence proving that you have Gallbladder or Bile Duct Cancer.

Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits will also depend on whether the patient is able to work after being diagnosed with the cancer. A patient’s working ability will depend on both the severity of the cancer as well as its response to treatment. If the diagnosis indicates that the cancer is beyond the stage of being successfully treated, the victim may qualify for disability benefits through the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance Program. Essentially, the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance scheme enables the victim to get their disability claim fast tracked so that there is some financial help available to the patient while they are suffering from and undergoing treatment for such a severe medical condition.

Get Help With Your Disability Claim

Even if a cancer like Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer can be found in the SSA’s Blue Book, this does not mean that the victim of either of these types of cancer will automatically qualify for disability benefits. As such, it is very important to provide sufficient medical evidence such as results of medical tests, scans, and other medical documentation that clearly highlights the diagnosis and its severity in the patient’s disability benefits application. If you hire an attorney to help you with your disability benefits application/claim, they may be able to help you gather the right—and best—evidence to help ensure that you have a higher chance of qualifying for the disability benefits you may need and deserve.

Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website and can help you with your Gallbladder Cancer and/or Bile Duct Cancer disability benefits claim.

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