JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Cholecystectomy in patients with asymptomatic gallstones to prevent gall bladder cancer--the case against.

Gallstones (GS) are common in northern India. GS are the most important risk factor for gall bladder cancer (GBC). Data from the West, however, indicate that the risk of GBC in persons with asymptomatic GS is very small and does not warrant prophylactic cholecystectomy. Can these recommendations be applied to northern India where incidence rates of GBC are one of the highest in the world? Not all persons with asymptomatic GS require cholecystectomy. There may, however, be a case for offering cholecystectomy to a young woman in northern India with a large GS or a gall bladder packed with GS, though there is no evidence to support this recommendation. Type of stone, tumor markers and genetic markers need to be investigated to identify those with asymptomatic GS who are at the highest risk of developing GBC so that they can selectively be offered pre-emptive cholecystectomy to prevent GBC.

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