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?
Oncologists treating the disease aim at removing the cancer and clear the blockage it creates. Surgical removal of the tumour cures the cancer. Very large tumours may require removal of liver, hence require a liver transplant. Surgery may be followed by chemotherapy and radiation to minimize risk of cancer returning
DID YOU KNOW?
Surgical resection offers the only potential chance of cure in cholangiocarcinoma.