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Gallbladder cancer

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Survival statistics for gallbladder cancer

Survival statistics for gallbladder cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for gallbladder cancer and what they mean to you.

Relative survival

Relative survival looks at how likely people with cancer are to survive after their diagnosis compared to people in the general population who do not have cancer but who share similar characteristics (such as age and sex).

In Canada, the 5-year relative survival for gallbladder cancer is 20%. This means that, on average, people diagnosed with gallbladder cancer are 20% as likely to live at least 5 years after their diagnosis as people in the general population.

Survival by stage

Survival varies with each stage of gallbladder cancer. The following factors can affect survival for gallbladder cancer.

Generally, the earlier gallbladder cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.

The outcome is better if the gallbladder cancer can be completely removed with surgery. The outcome is also better if the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.

Often gallbladder cancer is not found until it is at an advanced stage. This can make it harder to treat, and it has a poor outlook.

There are no specific Canadian statistics available for the different stages of gallbladder cancer. The following information comes from a variety of sources. It may include statistics from other countries that are likely to have similar outcomes as in Canada.

The 5-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive at least 5 years after their cancer diagnosis. But people with this type of cancer may live much longer than 5 years.

Gallbladder cancer survival

Stage5-year survival

0

80%

I

50%

II

28%

IIIA

8%

IIIB

7%

IVA

4%

IVB

2%

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your health history
  • the type of cancer
  • the stage
  • certain characteristics of the cancer
  • the treatments chosen
  • how the cancer responds to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

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