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What are the risk factors?

The cause of gall bladder cancer is not known in most cases, but risk factors can include:

  • having had gallstones or inflammation of the gall bladder (although the majority of people with gallstones will never develop gall bladder cancer)
  • family history of gall bladder cancer can result in a small increase in risk (first-degree relative such as mother, father, sibling or child). The majority of people with gall bladder cancer, however, will not have a family history
  • other gall bladder and bile duct conditions and abnormalities, such as gall bladder polyps, choledochal cysts (bile-filled cysts) and calcified gall bladder (also known as porcelain gall bladder).

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This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed February 2021 by the following expert content reviewers: Kathleen Boys, Consumer; Dr Julian Choi, HPB Surgeon, Western Health and Epworth Hospital, Vic; David Fry, Consumer; Dr Robert Gandy, Hepatobiliary Surgeon, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW; Yvonne King 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Elizabeth Lynch, Consumer; Dr Jenny Shannon, Medical Oncologist, Nepean Hospital Cancer Centre, NSW.