Bile Duct Cancer

Hoag's Bile Duct Cancer Program continues to lead the way in complex hepatobiliary cancer care, enabling patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes in the nation.

Put Cancer in Your Past

Bile duct cancer describes a type of cancer that forms in the bile ducts (slender tubes) that carry the digestive fluid bile through the liver. Bile duct cancer is also referred to as cholangiocarcinoma.

There are two major types of bile duct tumors:

Distal bile duct tumors: Tumors affecting the bottom half of the bile duct, which is associated with the pancreas

Klatskin’s tumors: Tumors affecting the upper part of the bile duct, which is associated with the liver

Top Survival Rates

Hoag continually exceeds national cancer survival rates, illustrating that where you receive your care can lead to better outcomes.

Risk Factors for Bile Duct Cancer

Risk factors for bile duct cancer include:

  • Individuals over the age of 65
  • Family history of bile duct cancer
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Chronic inflammation of the bile ducts (bile duct stones)
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Parasitic infection (liver fluke, Clonorchis sinesis and Opistorchis viverrini, which are common in Asia and the Middle East)
  • Exposure to certain hazardous chemicals, including radon, asbestos, dioxins and thorotrast

Symptoms of Bile Duct Cancer

Often, bile duct cancer does not cause symptoms during early stages. However, as the disease progresses, symptoms may included:

  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin
  • Generalized itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Low grade fever
  • Vague abdominal pain
  • Light colored stools

Bile Duct Cancer Nurse Navigator

A clinical nurse navigator serves an important role as facilitator and guide for patients, providing resources, access to clinical providers and answering questions throughout the cancer journey.

Learn More

Innovative Treatment Options Tailored to the Patient

Your care team then carefully tailors a personalized treatment plan to effectively achieve the best possible outcome for the patient. This emphasis on a collaborative, comprehensive approach to patient-centered care is why Hoag patient outcomes rank are among the nation’s best. Treatment may entail non-surgical options, to surgical approaches, all delivered by an expert team.