Scottish Cancer Prevention Network

WCRF Continuous Update Report – Gallbladder Cancer


Jul 15

Gallbladder cancer is the twentieth most common cancer worldwide and the seventeenth most common cause of death from cancer. Survival is poor compared to some other cancers, as patients often present late due to a lack of symptoms until the disease is well established.
It is more common in women than men and is particularly common in eastern Asia.
The latest WCRF CUP report on the association between diet, nutrition, physical activity and gallbladder cancer was released in July 2015. [1]
Findings include strong evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk of gallbladder cancer – a 25% increased risk of gallbladder cancer for every five BMI units.
More research is required to better understand this association, but obesity is a known cause of gallstone formation and having gallstones increases the risk of gallbladder cancer.
Other influences may be hormonal (body fatness increases the levels of hormones like insulin circulating in the body) or inflammatory responses (body fat stimulates a general inflammatory response which may contribute to the development of cancer).
WCRF continuous_2


  1. World Cancer Research Fund International/American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Report: Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Gallbladder Cancer. 2015. Available at:


This article was originally published in the SCPN Newsletter Volume 6, Issue 3. Read the full issue here: