Can Gallbladder Cancer Be Prevented?

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

Getting to and staying a healthy weight is one important way a person may reduce their risk of gallbladder cancer, as well as many other types of cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that people try to stay at a healthy weight throughout life by being active and eating a healthy diet, with a focus on plant foods. To learn more, see American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention.

Since gallstones are a major risk factor, removing the gallbladders of all people with gallstones might 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 the stones are causing problems. This is because, i most cases, the possible risks and complications of surgery probably don’t outweigh the possible benefit. Still, some doctors might advise removing the gallbladder if long-standing gallstone disease has resulted in a porcelain gallbladder.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

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Last Medical Review: July 12, 2018 Last Revised: July 12, 2018

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