Bile duct cancer
Bile duct cancerOverview
Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancerous (malignant) growth in one of the ducts that carries bile from the liver to the small intestine.
Review Date: 6/2/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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A cholangiocarcinoma may start anywhere along the bile ducts. These tumors block off the bile ducts.
They affect both men and women. Most patients are older than 65.
Risks for this condition include:
Cholangiocarcinoma is rare. It occurs in approximately 2 out of 100,000 people.
Call your health care provider if you have jaundice or other symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma.
The goal is to treat the
Chemotherapy or radiation may be given after surgery to decrease the risk of the cancer returning. However, the benefit of this treatment is not certain.
Endoscopic therapy with stent placement can temporarily relieve blockages in the biliary ducts and relieve jaundice in patients when the tumor cannot be removed. Laser therapy combined with light-activated chemotherapy medications is another treatment option for those with blockages of the bile duct.
Completely removing the tumor allows 30 - 40% of patients to survive for at least 5 years, with the possibility of a complete cure.
If the tumor cannot be completely removed, a cure is generally not possible. With treatment, about half of these patients live a year, and about half live longer.
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam. Tests will be done to check for a tumor or blockage in the bile duct. These may include:
Blood tests that may be done include: