Bile Duct Cancer - Cancer Treatment

Bile Duct Cancer, Cholangiocarcinoma, Bile Cancer Treatments, Bile Duct Cancer Therapy, Chemotherapy, Cancer Surgery, Radiation, Biliary Drainage, Photodynamic Therapy, Transplant

Bile Duct Cancer Treatment Abroad

Bile Duct Cancer Treatment Abroad

Bile duct cancer, otherwise known as cholangiocarcinoma, affects the bile ducts, found in and around the liver. The bile ducts are small and narrow tubes that transport bile, a digestive fluid, through the liver to help in the breakdown of nutrients. This type of cancer is rare, and is most commonly diagnosed in individuals over 50 years of age. It's extremely aggressive and can be difficult to treat.

How is it diagnosed?

Bile duct cancer is diagnosed through endoscopic examination. That means that your doctor may use an endoscope - a long, thin instrument with a camera on one end - to inspect the bile ducts. This is done by passing the endoscope down the throat, through the stomach and into the first section of the small intestine where the bile duct empties its fluids.

Imaging and ultrasound diagnostics may also be performed, along with a biopsy, which is the removal of a small sample of tissue for testing in a laboratory. In most cases, biopsy samples can be collected through needle aspiration through the skin.

Treatment options

Treatment options for bile duct cancer depend on the location, size, and extent of the cancer growth. Some of the most common treatments include:

  • Surgery - Often a first step, the removal of cancer tumors or growth is imperative, and in this case, involves removing the portion of the bile affected by the cancer.  The "clean" edges of the bile duct will be sutured together. In other cases, the bile duct, as well as surrounding liver tissues, and sometimes even tissues of the pancreas and surrounding lymph nodes, may be removed.
  • Transplant- In some advanced cases, your doctor may suggest entire removal of the liver, and place you on a donor list for a liver transplant.
  • Photodynamic therapy - This type of therapy involves a chemical that is sensitive to light. It’s injected into a vein and gathers in cancerous cells. A laser light focused on those cancer cells create a chemical reaction that results in their death.
  • Biliary drainage - This treatment is focused on restoring bile flow to the liver and involves the rerouting of the bile duct around the area of cancer. Stents may be utilized to help support a bile duct affected by cancer.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be suggested, helping to slow the disease as well as relieve symptoms.
Prognosis, again, depends on the stage of cancer, its extent, size, and whether surrounding tissues have been affected.

Looking for a Cancer Specialist

When looking for a cancer specialist, look for experience, training, and that the specialist of their choice has been board-certified in specific areas of medicine. Find a doctor who specializes in liver or bile duct cancers. Ensure that your doctors, surgeons and oncologists are certified and experienced in their field.

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By: PlacidWay,

Cancer Treatment Abroad, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer

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