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What are the symptoms?

Gall bladder cancer can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages as it doesn’t usually cause symptoms. Sometimes, gall bladder cancer is found when the gall bladder is removed for another reason, such as gallstones. But most people who have surgery for gallstones do not have gall bladder cancer.

Gall bladder cancer is sometimes suspected when there is a large gall bladder polyp (greater than 1 cm) or a calcified gall bladder.

If symptoms do occur they can include:

  • abdominal pain, often on the upper right side
  • nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), causing dark urine (wee), pale bowel movements (poo) and severe itching without any visible skin rash
  • general weakness or fatigue
  • a lump in the abdomen
  • unexplained weight loss
  • fever.

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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.