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:
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored stool
- Itchy skin
- Abdomen pain
- Unintentional weiht loss
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.
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.
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
- Liver Transplant
- Clinical trials