Gallbladder Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2017

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer each year. You will read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

This year, an estimated 11,740 adults (5,320 men and 6,420 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with gallbladder and other biliary cancers. In that estimate, about 4,000 are specifically gallbladder cancers. Incidence rates of gallbladder cancer are 66% higher in women than in men.

It is estimated that 3,830 deaths (1,630 men and 2,200 women) from these diseases will occur this year.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people with gallbladder cancer is 19%. However, the survival rate depends on several factors, including the extent of cancer at the time of diagnosis (called the stage).

When the cancer has not spread but has the potential to be invasive, it is called in situ cancer or stage 0. The 5-year survival rate for people with stage 0 gallbladder cancer is 80%. Stage I cancer means it is found only in the gallbladder. The 5-year survival rate for stage I is 50%. About 10% percent of gallbladder cancers are diagnosed before spreading outside of the gallbladder. This is mainly because there is not a good screening method and the disease often grows without causing symptoms.

If the cancer has spread outside the gallbladder to the lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is between 7% and 8%. Gallbladder cancer that has spread to other parts of the body has a 5-year survival rate of 4% or less.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with gallbladder cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. People should talk with their doctor if they have questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2017: Special Section – Rare Cancers in Adults, and the ACS website.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. You may use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.