Gallbladder Cancer

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Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention TOPICS

Can gallbladder cancer be prevented?

There is no known way to prevent most cases of gallbladder cancer. Many of the known risk factors for gallbladder cancer, such as age, gender, ethnicity, and bile duct abnormalities, are beyond our control. But there are some things you can do that might lower your risk.

Maintaining a healthy weight is one important way a person may reduce their chances of developing gallbladder cancer, as well as several other cancers. The American Cancer Society recommends that people try to stay at a healthy weight throughout life by being physically active and eating a healthy diet, with mostly plant foods.

Since gallstones are a major risk factor, removing the gallbladders of all people with gallstones would prevent many of these cancers. But gallstones are very common, and gallbladder cancer is quite rare, even in people with gallstones. Most doctors don’t recommend people with gallstones have their gallbladder removed unless they are having symptoms. This is because the possible risks and complications of surgery probably don’t outweigh the possible benefit. Still, there are other reasons a doctor would recommend removing the gallbladder.

Last Medical Review: 06/12/2013
Last Revised: 02/06/2014