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Prognosis of bile duct/gallbladder cancer

The prognostic factors for long-term survival are the disease stage and presence of metastases. 

For hilar bile duct carcinomas, five year survival is about 30–40%. Tumor-free margins (R0) as well as lymph node negative tumors have the best prognosis (1). 

For stage 2 gallbladder cancer, the long-term survival after an extended cholecystectomy is 80–100%. Long-term survival is reduced to 25–50% if there is lymph node metastasis.

In stages 3 and 4, involvement of lymph nodes increases to 60–70%, and long-term survival after surgery is reduced to 15–25%.



Five-year relative survival for patients with bile duct/gallbladder cancer, in percent, during the diagnosis period 1974–2013.

Source: Cancer Registry of Norway


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