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.
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 for bile duct cancer depend on the location, size, and extent of the cancer growth. Some of the most common treatments include:
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.
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.
For more information about bile duct cancer treatments click the button below!
Cancer Treatment Abroad, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer