Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancerous (malignant) growth in one of the ducts that carries bile from the liver to the small intestine.
- Bile duct cysts
- Chronic biliary irritation
- History of infection with the parasitic worm, liver flukes
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Clay-colored stools
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper right abdomen that may radiate to the back
- Weight loss
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
- Tests that show a tumor or blockage in the bile duct:
- Abdominal CT scan
- Abdominal ultrasound
- CT scan-directed biopsy
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTCA)
- Blood tests that show abnormal function:
- Liver function tests (especially bilirubin)
- The goal is to treat the cancer and the blockage it causes. When possible, surgery to remove the tumor is the treatment of choice and may result in a cure.
- Chemotherapy or radiation may be given after surgery to decrease the risk of the cancer returning.
- Endoscopic therapy or surgery can clear blockages in the biliary ducts and relieve jaundice in patients when the tumor cannot be removed.
- For patients with cancer that cannot be removed, radiation therapy may be beneficial. Chemotherapy may be added to radiation therapy or used when the tumor has spread.
- If you have jaundice or other symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma.