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Gall Bladder Cancer Statistics


What is gallbladder cancer?

Gall bladder or bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) occurs when cells in the gall bladder become abnormal and keep growing to form a mass or lump called a tumour. The tumour type is defined by the particular cells that are affected. When cancer starts in another area of the body and spreads to the gall bladder it is referred to as secondary or metastatic cancer.

You can access further information about gallbladder cancer, including risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment from Cancer Council Victoria. You can also call our trusted cancer nurses on 13 11 20 for support and to learn about our range of services for people affected by cancer.

The Victorian Cancer Registry also operates an interactive web portal, Data Explorer, which provides more trends and statistics than published here.

How common is gallbladder cancer?

In 2021, 288 Victorians were diagnosed with gallbladder cancer. Of these, there were 140 males and 148 females, representing 48.6% and 51.4% of the total Victorian gallbladder cancer diagnoses, respectively. Currently, gallbladder cancer is diagnosed at a rate of 1.9 per 100,000 males and 1.9 per 100,000 females. The median age at diagnosis of gallbladder cancer is 72 years in males and 74 in females (Figure 1 & 2). Accounting for 0.8% of all cancers diagnosed and 1.8% of all cancer-related deaths in 2021, gallbladder cancer was the 22nd most commonly diagnosed cancer and the 19th most common cause of cancer-related deaths in Victoria.


Figure 1: Distribution of gallbladder cancer incidence in 2021, by sex within age groups

Source: Victorian Cancer Registry (2023)


Figure 2: Distribution of gallbladder cancer incidence in 2021, compared to the distribution of the Victorian population in 2021, by 5-year age brackets

Source: Victorian Cancer Registry (2023)

Gallbladder cancer morphology

Figure 4 provides a summary of the different types of cells (morphology) which have caused gallbladder cancers among all cases. Most gallbladder cancer tumours, 81.2%, present as Adenocarcinoma tumours.


Figure 4: Distribution of gallbladder cancer morphologies between 2012-2021

Source: Victorian Cancer Registry (2023)


Geographical variance in gallbladder cancer by local government area

Figure 5 demonstrates variation in age-standardised incidence rates of gallbladder cancer, by local government areas. Darker shading indicates areas with higher rates of gallbladder cancer.


Figure 5: Variation in the incidence of gallbladder cancer for the period 2017-2021, by location of residence in Victoria

Source: Victorian Cancer Registry (2023)


Gallbladder cancer in people born overseas

Figure 6 shows the age standardised incidence rates of gallbladder cancers in Australian-born Victorians compared to other major migrant groups, over the five-year period 2017 to 2021. The highest age standardised incidence rate for gallbladder cancers was 3.2 for males born in the Middle East and North Africa region and the lowest rate of 1.4 was observed in males born in the Other Europe region. The highest age standardised incidence rate of gallbladder cancers was 2.3 for females born in the Middle East and North Africa region and the lowest rate of 1.4 was observed in females born in the Other Europe region.


Figure 6: Age standardised incidence rates and 95% confidence intervals for gallbladder cancer in Victorians born in Australia compared to Victorians born in other countries for the period 2017-2021, by sex

Source: Victorian Cancer Registry (2023)


Source: Victorian Cancer Registry (2023)



Gallbladder cancer five-year relative survival

Figure 7 shows the change in 5-year survival for gallbladder cancer, and the 5-year survival trend for all cancers over the same time period. It demonstrates that five-year relative survival has increased for gallbladder cancer between 1986-1990 and 2016-2020 from 14% to 26%.

Figure 7: Trend in five year relative survival following diagnosis of gallbladder cancer in five year brackets, from the period 1986-1990 to 2016-2020

Source: Victorian Cancer Registry (2023)

This webpage was last updated in February 2023

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