Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Treatment in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The gallbladder is an organ located in the upper abdomen, right under the liver. It is shaped like a pear and used to store bile produced by the liver. When the stomach starts breaking down the consumed food, bile is released from the gallbladder through the common bile duct – a tube that connects this part of the body and the first part of the small intestine.

Gallbladder cancer occurs when malignant cells form in the tissues of the organ. This disease is more common among females, and symptoms include fever, pain, and in some instances, jaundice.

What Determines Gallbladder Cancer Treatment?

Multiple factors determine the prognosis and the gallbladder cancer treatment the doctor will recommend to the patient. The details to keep in mind are:

  • Can the problem be solved completely with gallbladder cancer surgery
  • Has cancer spread to other parts of the body (the stage of cancer)
  • Cancer type
  • Is it the first time the patient has been diagnosed or is it a reoccurring cancer
  • Age of the patient
  • The health of the patient

Gallbladder Cancer Surgery

There are two general types of gallbladder cancer surgery:

  • Potentially curative surgery which can be both resectable and unresectable
  • Palliative surgery

Most doctors agree that gallbladder cancer surgery is the only way to cure the patient infected with this disease. However, there are different opinions on how developed the cancer can be to remain operable. Make sure to consult with experienced professionals before deciding on gallbladder cancer treatment.

What Is Bile Duct Cancer

Bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma, is a rare disease that occurs when malignant cells form in the bile ducts. This network of tubes connects the liver and the gallbladder to the small intestine, transferring the bile produced in the liver.

If a patient is diagnosed with bile duct cancer, some of the following symptoms may occur:

  • Dark urine
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Itchy skin
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice

Bile Duct Cancer

The liver and the gallbladder are connected to the small intestine through a network of tubes called ducts. They are used to transfer the bile produced in the liver. When malignant cells form in these ducts, bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma, occurs.

Two types of bile duct cancer are known to medicine today:

  • Intrahepatic: Intrahepatic ducts are the ones inside the liver. Only a small percentage of bile duct cancer patients suffer from intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
  • Extrahepatic: Extrahepatic cancer occurs in the ducts outside the liver and has two possible variations: Perihilar and Distal.

Bile Duct Cancer Signs and Symptoms

These are the symptoms a patient may notice before needing cholangiocarcinoma treatment:

  • Fever
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Nausea
  • Itchy skin
  • Abdomen pain
  • Unintentional weiht loss

Cholangiocarcinoma Treatment

There are multiple choices for the correct cholangiocarcinoma treatment. Below, you’ll find the bile duct cancer surgery options available to treat the disease.

Bile Duct Removal

If the tumor is smaller in size and only present in the ducts, a bile duct cancer surgery is performed to remove a part of the tube.

Whipple Procedure

This type of bile duct cancer surgery removes more than a part of the bile ducts. Instead, the gallbladder, the head of the pancreas, a part of the small intestine, the bile duct, and a part of the stomach is removed by the doctor.

Partial Hepatectomy

If the cancer is found inside the liver, this procedure is performed to remove the infected part of the organ, including some other parts of the liver.

Other Cholangiocarcinoma Treatment Options

There are possible cholangiocarcinoma treatment options that don’t include surgery. The most common ones are:

  • Radiation Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Liver Transplant
  • Immunotherapy
  • Clinical trials

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