What are risk factors?

There are certain things that can increase the risk of developing gall bladder cancer. These are called risk factors. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get cancer. And not having a risk factor does not mean that you will not get it.

Age

Gall bladder cancer is more common in people over the age of 75.

Gallstones and inflammation

People with a history of gallstones or an inflamed gall bladder (cholecystitis) have a higher risk. But most people who have gallstones or an inflamed gall bladder do not develop gall bladder cancer.

Polyps

These are non-cancerous (benign) tumours of the gall bladder. Having polyps increases the risk of developing gall bladder cancer.

Porcelain gall bladder

This is when calcium builds up in the wall of the gall bladder. People with this condition have a slightly increased risk.

Abnormal bile ducts

Gall bladder cancer is slightly more common in people born with abnormal bile ducts.

Smoking

People who smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of developing gall bladder cancer.

Obesity

Being very overweight can increase your risk of developing gall bladder cancer.

Family history

Close relatives of people with gall bladder cancer have a slightly higher risk. A close relative is a parent, brother or sister.

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