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Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancerous growth in one of the ducts that carries bile from the liver to the small intestine. Cancerous tumors of the bile ducts are usually slow-growing and do not spread quickly. However, many of these tumors are already quite advanced by the time they are found. It may start anywhere along the bile ducts and may block off the bile ducts. Both men and women are affected. Most patients are older than 65.
HOW IS CHOLANGIOCARCINOMA DIAGNOSED?
The disease is diagnosed through a combination of blood tests, imaging, endoscopy and sometimes surgical exploration, with confirmation obtained, after a pathologist examines cells from the tumour, under a microscope.
HOW IS CHOLANGIOCARCINOMA TREATED?
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the suggested treatment options. Surgery is the best way to treat the condition as it will remove the cancer. It is a major surgery and is not always possible if the cancer has spread.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are no guaranteed ways to avoid getting bile duct cancer; however one can reduce chances of developing it. The most effective ways of achieving this are reducing alcohol intake, as cirrhosis is a risk factor, and trying to avoid infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C.