What is gallbladder cancer?

Gallbladder cancer is when abnormal cells in the gallbladder start to divide and grow in an uncontrolled way. 

Symptoms of gallbladder cancer

The symptoms of gallbladder cancer include tummy pain, feeling sick, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) or an enlarged gallbladder. 

Risks and causes of gallbladder cancer

Factors that increase the risk of developing gallbladder cancer include age, gallstones, gallbladder polyps and being overweight. Read about these and other risk factors. 

Getting diagnosed with gallbladder cancer

You usually start by seeing your GP. They might refer you for tests or to a specialist if you have symptoms that could be caused by gallbladder cancer.  

Stages and grades of gallbladder cancer

The stage of a cancer tells you about its size and whether it has spread. The grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope.

Types of gallbladder cancer

The type of cancer tells you which type of cell it started in. There are several types of gallbladder cancer.

Treatment for gallbladder cancer

The treatment you might have depends on the size and type of your gallbladder cancer and whether it has spread.

Living with gallbladder cancer

Get practical and emotional support to help you cope with a diagnosis of gallbladder cancer, and life during and after treatment.

Research and clinical trials for gallbladder cancer

Find out about the latest UK research and clinical trials looking into gallbladder cancer.

Advanced gallbladder cancer

Advanced gallbladder cancer is cancer that has spread outside the gallbladder into lymph nodes or nearby organs. Or that has spread to another part of the body such as the lungs (secondary or metastatic gallbladder cancer). 

Survival for gallbladder cancer

Survival depends on how advanced your gallbladder cancer is when you are diagnosed.  

Last reviewed: 
09 Nov 2023
Next review due: 
09 Nov 2026

Page Credits: 

This section has been written, reviewed and updated by Cancer Research UK’s Patient Information Web Team. Thanks to the expert medical professionals and people affected by cancer who have helped to review this information.

  • Miss Anita Balakrishnan (Consultant Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgeon and Affiliated Assistant Professor)
  • Dr Saoirse Dolly (Consultant Medical Oncologist)
  • Our lay reviewers