A retrospective review of 143 cases of carcinoma of the gall bladder is presented. The disease was more common in females in the 5th and 6th decades. Pain, anorexia, weight loss and jaundice were the common presenting symptoms, and hepatomegaly and palpable gall bladder the common signs. Laboratory and radiological investigations were merely confirmatory as the diagnosis in a majority of the cases was clinically obvious. Aspiration cytology and laparoscopic biopsy were of help in obtaining histological diagnosis. Only 47 patients were considered fit enough to undergo laparotomy. In a majority of these patients biopsy alone was possible while palliative procedures were performed in the others. The operative mortality was 18% even in this selected group of patients, due to the poor general condition and the advanced stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Curative resection may be possible and long term survival is expected in incidentally found carcinoma at cholecystectomy. The only hope lies in prevention by prompt treatment of patients with benign biliary disease.
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