Gall Bladder Cancer

Gall bladder cancer is rare in the UK with around 500 people diagnosed per year. This cancer most commonly affects those over 50 years old and is at its most common in those over 70 years old. This tends to be a cancer that affects more women than men.

The gall bladder stores bile which is used to break down fat in the small intestine (bowel); the bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. The liver, gall bladder and small intestine are linked by bile ducts, which carry the bile.

Things to look out for

In the early stages, gall bladder cancer does not tend to present symptoms; early diagnosis usually occurs during surgery to remove gall stones.

Later-stage gall bladder cancer can cause:

  • High temperatures or fevers
  • Abdominal (tummy) pain in the upper right hand side
  • Vomiting (being sick) or nausea (feeling sick)

If the cancer is obstructing a bile duct other symptoms may occur:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of eye whites and/or skin)
  • Abdominal pain and/or loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Pale stool
  • Darkened urine