Gallbladder cancer risk

Preventable cases

Gallbladder cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

Caused by obesity

Gallbladder cancer cases caused by overweight and obesity, UK, 2015

 

The estimated lifetime risk of being diagnosed with gallbladder cancer is 1 in 947 (less than 1%) for males, and 1 in 419 (less than 1%) for females born after 1960 in the UK.[1]

These figures have been calculated on the assumption that the possibility of having more than one diagnosis of gallbladder cancer over the course of a lifetime is very low (‘Current Probability’ method).[2]

References

  1. Lifetime risk estimates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. Based on cancer incidence and mortality data provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), ISD Scotland, the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit and the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, on request, October 2016 to October 2017, and ONS 2016-based Life expectancies and population projections. Accessed December 2017.
  2. Esteve J, Benhamou E and Raymond L. Descriptive epidemiology. IARC Scientific Publications No.128, Lyon, International Agency for Research on Cancer, pp 67-68 1994.

About this data

Data is for UK, cancer incidence and mortality rates for 2015, and past and projected all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961, ICD-10 C23.

The calculations used cancer incidence and mortality rates for 2015, and past and projected all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961 to project risk over the lifetime of those born in 1961 (mixed period-cohort method).[1] Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.

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20% of gallbladder cancer cases in the UK are preventable.[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.

See also

Want to generate bespoke preventable cancers stats statements? Download our interactive statement generator.

Find out more about the definitions and evidence for this data

Learn how attributable risk is calculated

References

  1. Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018. 
  2. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 122*. Accessed September 2018.
  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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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classify the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1,2]

20% of gallbladder cancer cases in the UK are caused by 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]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

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. Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018. 
  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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Gallstones

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]

Porcelain gallbladder

Gallbladder cancer risk is around eight times as high in people with calcification of the wall of the gallbladder (porcelain gallbladder), compared with the general population, a meta-analysis showed.[3]

Pancreaticobiliary maljunction

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.[4]

Gallbladder polyps

Around 8% of larger (10mm+) gallbladder polyps are malignant, a systematic review showed.[5] Around 4% of gallbladder polyps are 10mm+ in size.[5]

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.
  3. Schnelldorfer T. Porcelain gallbladder: a benign process or concern for malignancy?. J Gastrointest Surg. 2013 Jun;17(6):1161-8.
  4. Deng YL, Cheng NS, Lin YX, et al. Relationship between pancreaticobiliary maljunction and gallbladder carcinoma: meta-analysis. Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2011 Dec;10(6):570-80.
  5. Elmasry M, Lindop D, Dunne DF, et al. The risk of malignancy in ultrasound detected gallbladder polyps: A systematic review. Int J Surg. 2016 Sep;33 Pt A:28-35.
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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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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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