Bile Duct Cancer

What is it?

 

Bile duct cancer, also known as cholangiocarcinoma or biliary cancer, is cancer of the bile ducts which connect the liver to the gallbladder, and the gallbladder to the small intestine.

 

Bile duct cancer is uncommon and usually found in people over the age of 50.

 

Are there different types?

 

There are two main categories of bile duct cancer called intrahepatic and extrahepatic.

 

Intrahepatic bile duct cancer occurs in bile ducts inside the liver, so it is often confused with liver cancer.

The extrahepatic bile duct cancers account for 90% of all bile duct cancers with two types:

  • perihilar (also known as hilar)
  • distal

 

Perihilar occurs in bile ducts just outside the liver, while distal occurs in the bile duct closest to the small intestine.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

 

There are quite a few testing options that a doctor may do such as

  • liver function test
  • tumor marker test to see the cancer antigen CA 19-9
  • image test
  • tissue test (biopsy)

 

 

Bile duct cancer can be difficult to treat, and there are a number of treatment options to do so. These include

  • surgery of the bile duct and possibly nearby liver tissue, pancreas tissue or lympth nodes
  • a liver transplant
  • portal vein embolization (procedure that tricks the liver into growing)
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation
  • photodynamic therapy (a light-sensitive chemical is injected into the body and highlights fast-growing cancer cells)
  • biliary drainage to restore the flow of bile

 

Depending on your case, your medical team will be able to help you choose which treatment options are right for you. However, be sure to ask them about the above treatments to ensure that you have been able to consider all of your options.

 

What is it?

 

Bile duct cancer, also known as cholangiocarcinoma or biliary cancer, is cancer of the bile ducts which connect the liver to the gallbladder, and the gallbladder to the small intestine.

 

Bile duct cancer is uncommon and usually found in people over the age of 50.

 

Are there different types?

 

There are two main categories of bile duct cancer called intrahepatic and extrahepatic.

 

Intrahepatic bile duct cancer occurs in bile ducts inside the liver, so it is often confused with liver cancer.

Bile Duct Cancer

The extrahepatic bile duct cancers account for 90% of all bile duct cancers with two types:

  • perihilar (also known as hilar)
  • distal

 

Perihilar occurs in bile ducts just outside the liver, while distal occurs in the bile duct closest to the small intestine.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

 

There are quite a few testing options that a doctor may do such as

  • liver function test
  • tumor marker test to see the cancer antigen CA 19-9
  • image test
  • tissue test (biopsy)

 

 

Bile duct cancer can be difficult to treat, and there are a number of treatment options to do so. These include

  • surgery of the bile duct and possibly nearby liver tissue, pancreas tissue or lympth nodes
  • a liver transplant
  • portal vein embolization (procedure that tricks the liver into growing)
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation
  • photodynamic therapy (a light-sensitive chemical is injected into the body and highlights fast-growing cancer cells)
  • biliary drainage to restore the flow of bile

 

Depending on your case, your medical team will be able to help you choose which treatment options are right for you. However, be sure to ask them about the above treatments to ensure that you have been able to consider all of your options.

 

Symptom list:

Bile Duct Cancer