Gallbladder Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2019

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer each year. You will also 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 12,360 adults (5,810 men and 6,550 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with gallbladder and other biliary cancers. About 4 out of 10 are specifically gallbladder cancers.

It is estimated that 3,960 deaths (1,610 men and 2,350 women) from gallbladder and other biliary cancers 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 location of the cancer and where it has spread (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 1 out of 5 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. Talk with your doctor if you have any 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 (January 2019).

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by gallbladder cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.