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Gallbladder cancer types

This page was reviewed under our medical and editorial policy by
Maurie Markman, MD, President, Medicine & Science at CTCA.

This page was updated on June 3, 2022.

Cancer of the gallbladder is very rare. Almost all types of gallbladder cancer are adenocarcinomas, a type of cancer that begins in the gland-like cells that line organs of the digestive tract. Adenocarcinomas accounts for 90 percent of gallbladder cancer diagnoses.

Papillary adenocarcinoma is a special subtype of adenocarcinoma that has a better prognosis, or outlook, compared with other types of gallbladder cancers. It is much less likely to spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs like the liver.

Other less common types of gallbladder cancers are adenosquamous carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, small cell carcinomas and sarcomas.

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