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Find out what screening is and why there is no UK screening programme for gallbladder cancer.

What screening is

Screening means testing people for early stages of an illness before they have any symptoms. For screening to be useful the tests:

  • must be reliable at picking up the illness
  • must be simple and quick
  • overall must do more good than harm to people taking part

Screening for gallbladder cancer

There is no UK screening programme for gallbladder cancer. Because it is a rare condition, too many people would have to have unnecessary tests. Screening everyone would be very expensive for each cancer found.

If you're at a high risk

Talk to your GP if you think you are at higher than average risk of gallbladder.

You may be able to have:

  • regular checkups
  • ERCP test
  • endoscopic ultrasound

It's important to see the doctor if you develop gallbladder symptoms. This is the best way to find gallbladder cancer at the earliest stage, when it's most treatable.

Last reviewed: 
06 Jun 2014
  • Biliary cancer: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow up. 
    Eckel F, Brunner T, Jelic S (2010)
    Annals of Oncology (supplement 5): v65-v69

  • Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancers
    The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
    June 2015

  • Cancer and its management (6th edition)
    Tobias J and Hochhauser D
    Wiley-Blackwell, 2010

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