Symptoms of gallbladder cancer
Main symptoms of gallbladder cancer
Gallbladder cancer may not have any symptoms, or they might be hard to spot.
Symptoms of gallbladder cancer include:
- the whites of your eyes turning yellow or your skin turning yellow, which may be less obvious on brown or black skin (jaundice) – you may also have itchy skin, darker pee and paler poo than usual
- loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
- a high temperature, or you feel hot or shivery
- a lump in your tummy
Other symptoms can affect your digestion, such as:
- feeling or being sick
- aching pain in the right side of your tummy, sometimes described as a "dragging feeling"
- sharp pain in your tummy
- a very swollen tummy that's not related to when you eat
If you have another condition like irritable bowel syndrome you may get symptoms like these regularly.
You might find you get used to them. But it's important to be checked by a GP if your symptoms change, get worse, or do not feel normal for you.
Urgent advice: Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if:
- the whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow
- you're being sick for more than 2 days
- you have symptoms of gallbladder cancer that you're worried about, but are not sure where to get help
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you have:
- a lump in your tummy
- lost a noticeable amount of weight
- symptoms of gallbladder cancer, such as pain or swelling in your tummy, that get worse or do not get better after 2 weeks
- a condition that causes symptoms with your digestion, and your symptoms are not getting better after 2 weeks using your usual treatments
Many of these symptoms are very common and can be caused by many different conditions.
Having them does not definitely mean you have gallbladder cancer. But it's important to get them checked by a GP.
This is because if they're caused by cancer, finding it earlier makes it more treatable.
What happens at the GP appointment
The GP may feel your tummy.
They may ask you to have a blood test.
The GP may refer you to see a specialist in hospital for more tests if they think you have a condition that needs to be investigated.
This may be an urgent referral, usually within 2 weeks, if you have certain symptoms. This does not definitely mean you have cancer.
Find out more
Page last reviewed: 13 June 2023
Next review due: 13 June 2026