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Survival

Survival depends on many different factors. No one can tell you exactly how long you will live. It depends on your:

  • type and stage of cancer
  • level of fitness
  • previous treatment

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis). You can also talk about this with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival by stage of gallbladder cancer

There are no UK wide statistics available for gallbladder cancer survival by stage. 

The statistics below come from America. They come from the National Cancer Institute's SEER programme. They are for people diagnosed with gallbladder cancer between 2011 and 2016. 

Please be aware that these figures might not be a true picture of survival in the UK. This is due to differences in the American health care systems, population, and data collection.

The American statistics are split into 3 groups:

  • Localised - usually includes stage 1 and stage 2 cancers which haven’t spread outside the gallbladder
  • Regional - usually includes stage 3 cancers that have spread outside the gallbladder into surrounding tissues or lymph nodes
  • Distant – includes stage 4 cancers that have spread to other parts of the body, away from the gallbladder

Localised
Around 65 out of 100 people (around 65%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis. 

Regional 
More than 25 out of 100 people (more than 25%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Distant
2 out of 100 people (2%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Survival for all stages combined

Survival for gallbladder cancer depends on how advanced the cancer is when it is diagnosed (the stage of the cancer). Unfortunately gallbladder cancer is often diagnosed in the later stages when treatment is unlikely to cure it.

Generally, for people with gallbladder cancer in England:

  • almost 45 out of 100 people (almost 45%) survive gallbladder cancer for at least 1 year
  • more than 15 out of 100 people (more than 15%) are predicted to survive gallbladder cancer for at least 5 years
  • 15 out of 100 people (15%) are predicted to survive gallbladder cancer for at least 10 years

What survival means

The term 5 year survival doesn't mean you will only live for 5 years. It relates to the number of people who live 5 years or more after their diagnosis of cancer.

More statistics

For more in-depth information about survival and gallbladder, go to our cancer statistics section.

Clinical trials

Taking part in clinical trials can help to improve the outlook for people with gallbladder cancer.

Last reviewed: 
06 May 2021
Next review due: 
08 May 2024
  • Net survival and the probability of cancer death from rare cancers
    P Muller and others on behalf of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
    Accessed July 2016

  • SEER Explorer: An interactive website for SEER cancer statistics
    Surveillance Research Program, National Cancer Institute
    Accessed April 2021