Gallbladder Cancer Life Expectancy

Mohd Sadiq   by Mohd Sadiq, MS, Bioinformatics    Last updated on November 19, 2020,

What Is Life Expectancy and Survival Rate of a Disease?

Life expectancy depends on various factors, including a person’s state, type of cancer, treatment, and fitness level. There are general statistics available for survival rates and life expectancy based on the studies of large groups of patients affected with a particular disease. These probable statistics do not exactly say what will happen in a particular case but give a fair idea about the average population.

Your doctor may give you more accurate information about your prognosis and survival if you want to understand. However, many patients do not want to understand how long they will live if diagnosed with cancer.

Life Expectancy in Gallbladder Cancer

Life expectancy is a term that is usually used by healthcare professionals as a standard way of discussing a person’s prognosis and survival rate. When talking about gallbladder cancer life expectancy or survival rate, medical professionals generally use a 5-year survival rate. Life expectancy refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Many people associated with gallbladder cancer usually live much longer than 5 years, and some people with gallbladder cancer may die from other reasons as well. However, survival rates of gall bladder cancer do not take other causes of mortality into account.

Gallbladder cancer life expectancy in patients is based on the stage of cancer at the time of its diagnosis. When looking at survival rates, it’s essential to understand that the information may differ for cancers that have recurred or progressed during the treatment.

Read Gall Bladder Cancer Overview

Outlook of Gallbladder Cancer Based on Stages

The statistics of gallbladder cancer life expectancy is taken from the American College of Surgeons/American Cancer Society National Cancer Data Base. This information was published in the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual in 2010 and is based on the diagnosis of more than 10,000 patients associated with gallbladder cancer from 1989 to 1996.

Stage 0 Gallbladder Cancer

If the cancer is in the gallbladder lining only, it is termed as stage 0. It was found that about 80 out of 100 people may survive for 5 years or more after getting diagnosed with this stage.

Stage 1 Gallbladder Cancer

This stage is localized within the gallbladder, and the tumor begins to penetrate the second and third layers of the gallbladder. About 50 out of 100 people may survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed with stage 1 gallbladder cancer.

Stage 2 Gallbladder Cancer

The prognosis is reduced in people with stage 2 gallbladder cancer. It is estimated that about 28 people out of 100 are expected to survive for 5 years or more after a gallbladder cancer diagnosis at this stage.

Stage 3 Gallbladder Cancer


In stage 3 gallbladder cancers, the tumor usually metastasizes into the neighboring tissues or lymph nodes, and cancer cannot be cured. In this condition, treatment may control the spread of cancer for some time and relieve a patient from the symptoms to improve life quality.

This stage is further divided into two sub-categories:

Stage 3-A Gallbladder Cancer: It is estimated that about 8 out of 100 people with stage 3-A gallbladder cancer are expected to survive for 5 years or more after being diagnosed.

Stage 3-B Gallbladder Cancer: At stage 3-B gallbladder cancer, the chances are only 7 %; that is, only 7 people out of 100 are expected to survive for 5 years after being diagnosed with this stage of cancer.

Stage 4 Gallbladder Cancer

This stage is the most advanced form of gallbladder cancer. If the gallbladder cancer has grown into one of the main blood vessels leading to the liver or into lymph nodes or has extended to nearby organs farther away from the gallbladder, it is considered a stage 4 cancer.

Stage 4 gallbladder cancer life expectancy is based on its two sub-categories:

Stage 4-A Gallbladder Cancer: Almost 4 out of 100 people with stage 4-A gallbladder cancer may survive for 5 years or more after the diagnosis.

Stage 4-B Gallbladder Cancer: At stage 4-B gallbladder, only 2 out of 100 are expected to survive for 5 years after getting diagnosed with this advanced form of gallbladder cancer.

Read Gall Bladder Screening and Early Detection

The statistics of life expectancy are usually based on prior instances of a large group of people with the same disease. However, it does not help estimate what will happen to a particular person because of cancer.

There are many other factors responsible for a person’s survival, including age, overall health, and how well cancer reacts to medical care. Still, when taking these other factors into considerations, survival rates are the probable predictions.

Some surgeons believe that cholecystectomy operation may help stop gallbladder cancer progression in the early stages. Cholecystectomy is the surgical procedure of removing nearby lymph nodes and some liver tissues across the gallbladder, which might help prevent cancer from coming back. It may improve the long-term result in people with early stages of gallbladder cancer. Treatment of gallbladder cancer may also include chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Mohd Sadiq

Mohd Sadiq is a bioinformaticist with a special interest in Nanotechnology. He completed his Master’s degree from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, followed by an internship in the Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi, South Campus. Mohd Sadiq has also worked at Codon Biotech Pvt. Ltd. Noida.


Read More Articles by this Author