What increases my risk of gall bladder cancer?

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The cause of gall bladder cancer is unknown. But there are certain things called risk factors that can increase your chance of developing the disease. These include:

  • Age: Gall bladder cancer is more common in older people
  • Gender: It is more common in females
  • Obesity: If you are overweight, you are more at risk of developing gall bladder cancer
  • Smoking: Smokers are more at risk than non-smokers
  • Family history: If you have a first-degree relative with gall bladder cancer, you have a higher risk. But the risk is still small. A first-degree relative is a mother, father, brother, sister or child
  • Alcohol: Heavy drinking increases your risk. The less you drink, the lower your risk of gall bladder cancer 
  • History of gallbladder problems: These problems include gallstones, an inflamed gall bladder, polyps (benign tumours), abnormal bile ducts, porcelain gall bladder (a build-up of calcium).

Having a risk factor doesn’t mean you will get cancer. Sometimes people with no risk factors get the disease. If you’re worried, talk to your GP or talk to one of our cancer nurses. Call our Support Line on 1800 200 700 or visit a Daffodil Centre. 

Reducing your risk of gall bladder cancer

Things you can do to reduce your risk of gall bladder cancer include:

  • Keeping a healthy weight for your height
  • Not smoking
  • Drink within the low risk guidelines (no more than 11 standard drinks a week for women, 17 for men).

Read more about these and other cancer risk-reduction tips

For more information

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1800 200 700

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