About bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)

What is bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)?

Bile duct cancer, also called cholangiocarcinoma, is when unusual cells grow out of control inside your bile ducts. Those are thin tubes about 4 to 5 inches long that move a fluid called bile from your liver to your gallbladder and small intestine. Bile helps you digest fat in the food you eat.

For some people, treatment can destroy the cancer. In others, it may never go away entirely. You may need regular doses of chemotherapy, radiation, or other treatments to keep it in check.

Learning more about the condition and getting support from your medical team and your loved ones can help you manage stress and concerns about the future.

What are the symptoms for bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)?

Abdominal pain on the right side symptom was found in the bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) condition

Signs of bile duct cancer include:

  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Pain in your belly or sides
  • Upset stomach and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Itching
  • Light-colored stools
  • Dark urine

What are the causes for bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)?

Experts aren’t sure what causes bile duct cancer. Research shows that certain things can raise your chances of getting it, including long-term inflammation from conditions.

What are the treatments for bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)?

You might have one or more of these treatments:

Biliary drainage. If your bile duct is blocked, your doctor may do a bypass, cutting it off and reattaching it on the other side of the blockage. They could also put a tube called a stent into the duct to keep bile flowing.

Photodynamic therapy. Your doctor injects an inactive form of a certain medication into your vein. The drug tends to collect in more cancer cells than healthy cells. After a few days, they use an endoscope to aim a special light at the tumor. It activates the drug, killing the cancer cells.

What are the risk factors for bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)?

Primary sclerosing cholangitis. This inflammation of your bile duct leads to scarring. Doctors don’t know what causes it. Many people who have it also have ulcerative colitis, an inflammation of the large intestine.

Bile duct stones. These are similar to gallstones but much smaller.

Choledochal cysts. Some people are born with a rare condition that causes bile-filled sacs along your bile ducts. Without treatment, they may lead to bile duct cancer.

Liver fluke infection. This is rare in the U.S. but more common in Asia. It happens when people eat raw or poorly cooked fish that’s infected with tiny parasitic worms called liver flukes. They can live in your bile ducts and cause cancer.

Reflux. When digestive juices from your pancreas flow back into your bile ducts, they can’t empty properly.

Is there a cure/medications for bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)?

Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma) is a condition where abnormal cells grow excessively inside the numerous bile ducts. This growth is about 4-5 inches long, moving bile from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine. Bile is the fluid that helps in digesting the food your body intakes.

Cure/medications for Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)
This is a chronic disease, and hence, it has no cure. Fortunately, symptoms can be managed with treatment and medications. Medications are usually given through an IV tube attached to the vein with a needle or as a pill that is to be swallowed. Medication as per the advised treatment is as follows:
1. Chemotherapy
2. Fluorouracil
3. Pacilitaxel
4. Targeted therapy
5. Pemigatinib
6. Infigratinib
7. Ivosidenib
8. Dabrafenib with Trametinib
9. Immunotherapy
10. Pembrolizumab
11. Nivolumab

Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice),Intensely itchy skin,White-colored stools,Fatigue,Abdominal pain on the right side, just below the ribs,Losing weight without trying,Fever,Night sweats,Dark urine
Hilar cholangiocarcinoma

Video related to bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)