Drinking Alcohol and Gallbladder Cancer Risk: Information

alcohol and gallbladder cancerAlcohol and gallbladder cancer are not linked. So drinking alcohol is not a risk factor for the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Health Service of the UK (NHS). The American Cancer Society. Cancer Research UK. These and other major groups conclude that alcohol doesn’t increase the risk of gallbladder cancer.

Risk Factors

But there are a number of factors that do increase the risk of the disease. These risk factors include any of these.

    • Female (more than doubles the risk).
    • Overweight or obese.
    • Over age 65.
    • A smoker.
    • Native American or Mexican American.
    • Chronically infected with salmonella.
    • A worker  in the metal or rubber industry.

Other risk factors for gallbladder cancer include these.

    • Gallstones (the most common risk factor).
    • Gallbladder polyps.
    • A family history of gallbladder cancer.
    • A porcelain gallbladder (inside wall covered with calcium deposits).
    • Choledochal cysts.
    • Abnormalities of the bile ducts.
    • Hormone replacement therapy.
    • A diet high in carbs and low in fiber.


Symptoms of gallbladder cancer can include any of these.

    • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes).
    • Lumps in the abdomen.
    • Pain above the stomach.
    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Bloating.
    • Fever.

A person having any of the possible signs of gallbladder cancer should see a doctor.

Research shows that drinking alcohol is not a risk factor for gallbladder cancer. On the other hand, the moderate drinking is linked with better health. It’s also linked to longer life than either abstaining or drinking heavily.

A federal agency (NIAAA) has defined moderate drinking. It’s a man having two drinks daily. For women it’s have a drink a day..

A standard alcoholic drink is any of these.

    • 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer
    • 5-ounce glass of dinner wine
    • A shot (one and one-half ounces) of liquor or spirits.

Standard drinks have the same amount of pure alcohol. It’s 0.6 of an ounce.

No form of alcohol gives greater health or longer life benefits than any other. That is, beer, wine, or spirits are equally helpful.

Resources: Alcohol and Gallbladder Cancer

Science Articles

Cariati, A., et al. Gallbladder cancers. Euro J Gastro Hepat, 26(5), 562-569.

Liebe, R., et al.  Modifiable factors and genetic predisposition associated with gallbladder cancer. A review. J Gastro Liv Dis, 24(3), 339-348.

Wernberg, J., & Lucarelli, D. Gallbladder cancer. Surg Clin N Am, 94(2), 343-360.

    • This site does not give advice. Please see your doctor for alcohol and gallbladder cancer questions.