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Bile Duct Cancer

Summary

Your liver makes a digestive juice called bile. Your gallbladder stores it between meals. When you eat, your gallbladder pushes the bile into tubes called bile ducts. They carry the bile to your small intestine. The bile helps break down fat. It also helps the liver get rid of toxins and wastes.

Bile duct cancer is rare. It can happen in the parts of the bile ducts that are outside or inside the liver. Cancer of the bile duct outside of the liver is much more common. Risk factors include having inflammation of the bile duct, ulcerative colitis, and some liver diseases.

Symptoms can include

  • Jaundice
  • Itchy skin
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain

Tests to diagnose bile duct cancer may include a physical exam, imaging tests of the liver and bile ducts, blood tests, and a biopsy.

Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

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