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November 1958

Clinical Aspects of Primary Carcinoma of the Gallbladder

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;77(5):742-750. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01290040090011

About 3000 cases of primary carcinoma of the gallbladder have been reported since 1771, when Maximilian Stoll is said to have described the first case.14 The marked interest in this disease has largely been the result of opportunities afforded in cancer prevention and in defining the etiology of an individual cancer.8 Recently, attention has centered on more adequate surgical excision of the primary tumor and its regions of spread.

Incidence  Carcinoma of the gallbladder is found in 1% to 2% of operations on the biliary tract.2,18 Nearly 10% of patients with symptomatic biliary tract disease who are 65 years of age or older will develop cancer of the gallbladder.9 A practical estimated incidence is that gallbladder cancer will be encountered about three times each year on an active general surgical service.

Age and Sex  As with most types of cancer, gallbladder cancer occurs most commonly in