Gallbladder cancer risk factors

Prevention

Preventable cases of gallbladder cancer, UK

Excess body weight

Gallbladder cancer cases linked to excess bodyweight, UK

18% (20% in males and 18% in females) of gallbladder cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.[1]

Gallbladder cancer is associated with a number of risk factors.[2-4]

  Increases risk Decreases risk
'Sufficient' or 'convincing' evidence
  • Thorium-232 and its decay products
  • Body fatness [a]
 
'Limited' or 'Probable' evidence    
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classifications.
 
a IARC classifies evidence on body fatness as sufficient, WCRF/AICR classifies evidence on body fatness as probable.

References

  1. Parkin DM, Boyd L, Walker LC. The fraction of cancer attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors in the UK in 2010. Summary and conclusions. Br J Cancer 2011; 105 (S2):S77-S81.
  2. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 117*. Accessed January 2017.
  3. Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, et al. Body Fatness and Cancer--Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. N Engl J Med. 2016 Aug 25;375(8):794-8.
  4. World Cancer Research Fund International/American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed January 2017.
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Body fatness is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) as a cause of gallbladder cancer (IARC classifies evidence on body fatness as sufficient, WCRF/AICR classify the evidence on body fatness and gallbladder cancer as probable).[1,2] An estimated 18% of gallbladder cancers in the UK are linked to overweight and obesity.[3]

Gallbladder cancer risk is 22-29% higher in women who are overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25-29.9), and 68-78% higher in women who are obese (BMI 30+), compared with those of a normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9), meta-analyses have shown.[4-6] Gallbladder cancer risk is 43-54% higher in men who are obese, compared with those of a normal weight, meta-analyses have shown.[4-6] The association with overweight without obesity may be limited to females.[4-6]

References

  1. Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, et al. Body Fatness and Cancer--Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. N Engl J Med. 2016 Aug 25;375(8):794-8.
  2. World Cancer Research Fund International/American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed January 2017.
  3. Parkin DM, Boyd L, Walker LC. The fraction of cancer attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors in the UK in 2010. Summary and conclusions. Br J Cancer 2011; 105 (S2):S77-S81.
  4. Li ZM, Wu ZX, Han B, et al. The association between BMI and gallbladder cancer risk: a meta-analysis. Oncotarget. 2016 Jul 12;7(28):43669-43679. 
  5. Liu H, Zhang Y, Ai M, et al. Body Mass Index Can Increase the Risk of Gallbladder Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of 14 Cohort Studies. Med Sci Monit Basic Res. 2016 Nov 30;22:146-155.
  6. Xue K, Li FF, Chen YW, et al. Body mass index and the risk of cancer in women compared with men: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2017 Jan;26(1):94-105.
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Gallbladder cancer risk is 19% higher in current smokers, and 10% higher in former smokers, both compared with never-smokers, a meta-analysis showed.[1]

Gallbladder cancer risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day, by 11% per 10 cigarettes per day, a meta-analysis showed.[1]

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Gallbladder cancer risk is around five times as high in people with a history of benign gallbladder diseases (mainly gallstones), versus those without, a pooled analysis showed.[1] A higher body mass index (BMI) may be associated with a higher risk of gallstone formation.[2]

References

  1. Randi G, Franceschi S, La Vecchia C. Gallbladder cancer worldwide: geographical distribution and risk factors. Int J Cancer. 2006 Apr 1;118(7):1591-602.
  2. Maclure KM, Hayes KC, Colditz GA, et al. Weight, diet, and the risk of symptomatic gallstones in middle-aged women. N Engl J Med. 1989 Aug 31;321(9):563-9.
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Gallbladder cancer risk is around seven times as high in people with pancreaticobiliary maljunction (an abnormality of the area where the bile duct joins with the pancreas), compared with those without, a meta-analysis of case-control studies showed.[1]

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Gallbladder cancer risk is 44-49% higher in people with type II diabetes compared with non-diabetics, meta-analyses have shown.[1-2]

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Thorium-232 and its decay products are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as causes of gallbladder cancer.[1]

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Gallbladder cancer risk is around 3 times higher in people who drink 50g+ (6+ units) of alcohol per day, compared with non- or occasional drinkers, a meta-analysis showed.[1]

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Gallbladder cancer risk is 4-5 times as high in people with a history of S.Typhi infection (the bacterium which causes typhoid fever), compared with those without, meta-analyses showed.[1-2]

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The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) make no judgement on the association between gallbladder cancer risk and peppers (capsicums), fish, coffee, tea, alcohol, sugar, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin D supplements, low fat diets, and height, due to limited evidence.[1]

Gallbladder cancer risk is not associated with the following factors, meta- and pooled analyses or systematic reviews have shown:

  • Tea.[2]

References

  1. World Cancer Research Fund International/American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed January 2017.
  2. Zhu G, Hua J, Wang Z, et al. Tea consumption and risk of gallbladder cancer: A meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Mol Clin Oncol. 2015 May;3(3):613-618.
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