GUWAHATI, June 8 - In a commentary published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, doctors from Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute have advocated conducting randomised-control screening trials with ultrasound to lower gall bladder cancer mortality in Assam.
Using ultrasound as a tool, early diagnosis of gall bladder cancer can be made in asymptomatic patients, especially in high-risk population. In Assam, the incidence of gall bladder cancer (GBC) in both females and males is particularly high. In fact, the incidence rates of GBC have reached epidemic levels in high-risk regions and ethnicities like Assam.
The incidence of gall bladder cancer in females of Kamrup (Metro) is the second highest in the world. The fatality due to gall bladder cancer is very high, with very poor survival rates. Patients with GBC are usually diagnosed in very advanced stages with grim chances for cure.
According to the lead author of the commentary, Dr Manigreeva Krishnatreya, a stumbling block for such a screening trial will be dearth of funding. The author adds that resource constraints should not be a barrier for the improvement of healthcare in society.
In the commentary, the authors have examined the feasibility of conducting such screening trials, and also confirmed whether gall bladder cancer met the basic criteria of screening for a disease. However, the review adds that a cost-benefit analysis should be performed along with such trials.
In the absence of an effective strategy to tackle this fatal cancer, the lead author of the study strongly supports such a screening trial in Assam.