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Gallstones risk factor for colon tumours

People with gallstones appear to be at an increased risk of colon tumours called adenomas.

Gallstones risk factor for colon tumours

People with gallstones appear to be at an increased risk of colon tumours called adenomas, which eventually develop into cancer over a period time, if not removed. Studies in the past have reported a moderately increased risk of colorectal adenoma in patients who have undergone gallbladder removal. But very few studies have investigated the association between gallstones that have not been removed and colorectal adenoma. To explore this association, researchers from America identified 44,58 people who were asked to complete questionnaires on lifestyle habits. The participants also underwent ultrasound, to look for gallstones, and colonoscopy, to look for colorectal adenomas. Overall, 4189 participants had normal gallbladders while gallstones were detected in 206 participants, of whom 63 underwent gallbladder removal. It was found that the rate of colorectal adenoma was 30 percent in gallstone patients, significantly higher than the 18 percent rate in those with normal gallbladders. Only 15 percent of patients who had their gallbladders removed developed colorectal adenomas, which was not significantly different from patients without gallstones. The study indicated that gallstones increased the overall risk of colorectal adenomas by around 60 percent. The researchers attributed the findings to the cancer-promoting properties of bile, the primary constituent of gallstones.
American Journal of Gastroenterology
December 2008
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