Cholangiocarcinoma refers to cancerous growth (malignancy) in the bile ducts, the network of tubes that run between the liver and small intestine. A relatively rare condition, this type of cancer neither grows nor spreads (metastasizes) quickly.
Symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma include: fever, chills, itchiness, jaundice and pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the upper back, weight loss, yellowing of the skin (jaundice), and light-colored stools.
Choice of treatment depends on a variety of factors, including the size and location of the tumor, whether it has spread, and the patient’s overall health. The main treatment is surgery (resection) to remove the tumor. If the tumor is entirely removed, a complete cure can be achieved. If the tumor is too large to remove with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be used. Or the entire liver may need to be removed, which would necessitate a transplant. Often, chemotherapy treatment is recommended following surgery to decrease the risk of the cancer returning.
We Can Help
For additional assistance from an outreach liaison, please contact:
Sharyn Kreitzer, MSW
Senior Outreach Liaison