February is Gallbladder Cancer and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month

Join with the AACR to find better ways to prevent and treat gallbladder cancer and bile duct cancer.

Gallbladder Cancer and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month

Gallbladder cancer and bile duct cancer are relatively rare forms of cancer. 

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ in the abdomen, below the liver. It collects and stores bile – a fluid made by the liver to aid with digestion of fats. The bile ducts are thin tube-like vessels that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine.

Approximately 12,350 people living in the United States will be diagnosed with gallbladder cancer in 2024, according to estimates by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Furthermore, NCI estimates that about 4,530 people will die from it this year.

Extrahepatic bile duct cancer is a rare disease in which cancer cells form in the ducts that are outside the liver. Cancer can also develop in the bile ducts inside the liver. Bile duct cancer is also called cholangiocarcinoma. 

Cholangiocarcinoma is a group of cancers that begin in the bile ducts, which are the tubes that connect liver and gallbladder to small intestine. Cholangiocarcinomas, or bile duct cancers, are rare and affect about 8,000 Americans every year. Bile duct cancers are associated with poor outcomes for patients both at early and advanced stages of the disease.

Symptoms of both gallbladder and bile duct cancer include yellowing of the skin and/or the whites of the eyes (jaundice), abdominal pain, and fever. In addition, gallbladder cancer symptoms include nausea and vomiting, bloating, and lumps in the abdomen. 

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Please see our page on gallbladder and bile duct cancer, which includes detailed information on treatment of this form of cancer.