Expert Diagnosis is Key

Comprehensive evaluation with accurate diagnosis is the foundation for achieving highly successful outcomes. That’s why it’s important to seek care from a center that provides a multidisciplinary, specialized team experienced in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of bile duct cancer.

Beginning with a thorough evaluation that includes a comprehensive physical exam, personal medical history review and state-of-the-art diagnostic workup, Hoag’s multidisciplinary team of board-certified, fellowship trained gastrointestinal experts carefully evaluate and pinpoint the nature of the cancer, so the most appropriate personalized treatment options can be employed.

Hoag’s state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies provide our team with the latest modalities in the accurate diagnosis of bile duct cancer and other disorders. Some of the progressive imaging studies that may be utilized include:

  • Blood tests are used to determine whether certain substances are being released into the blood by organs, tissues or tumor cells, as well as to check liver function.
  • Ultrasound utilizes sound waves to examine the liver, spleen and other organs in order to determine any masses that may exist.
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) uses an ultrasound device to make images of your bile duct and pancreas from inside your abdomen.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) utilizes state-of-the-art x-rays to help determine the extent of the cancer and whether it encompasses the surrounding organs.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a test that uses magnetic waves to create detailed pictures of structures inside the body.
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is used to identify malignant cells even before an actual lesion (lump) can be detected in a physical exam, or on a CT or MRI scan.
  • Cholangiography is an invasive test that uses x-rays and a large needle inserted into the liver to examine the gallbladder and bile ducts. This can be done to collect cells from the bile ducts to help diagnosis cancer.
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) uses a dye to highlight the bile ducts in the pancreas, so that an accurate image of the bile duct and pancreatic duct may be obtained. The physician may also insert small tubes (called stents) into the bile duct or the pancreatic duct, if they are obstructed, to relieve the obstruction. Additionally, a tissue sample (biopsy) may be collected during ERCP.
  • MRCP is a modified MRI that utilizes specialized software to obtain a composite image of the pancreatic duct and the bile duct from the digital MRI images. This study provides similar information to an ERCP. However, as a diagnostic study, MRCP study is preferred to ERCP since this procedure is not invasive.
  • Diagnostic Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to examine internal organs by direct visualization. Small incisions are made in the abdominal wall, and a thin, lighted tube called a laparoscope is inserted. This procedure allows the surgeon to evaluate whether the cancer has spread outside of the pancreas prior to performing surgery. This is an important part of planning for surgery.
  • Biopsy is the removal of a sample of tissue for testing. This procedure is performed to definitively diagnose pancreatic cancer, and may involve other methods outside of laparoscopic biopsy, such as endoscopic ultrasound or fine-needle aspiration.

It’s important to note that proper diagnosis and staging of bile duct cancer is critical to developing a successful treatment plan. That’s why it’s so important to seek proper evaluation and treatment from a healthcare expert experienced in the most advanced hepatobiliary cancer care.


Innovative Treatment for Bile Duct Cancer

When it comes to bile duct cancer, Hoag Family Cancer Institute provides a full array of progressive treatment options. As a recognized leader and high-volume provider of innovative cancer care, Hoag’s multidisciplinary team of experts performs some of the most advanced procedures available in the nation with clinical outcomes that rival national figures.


Expert Care You Can Trust

Hoag Family Cancer Institute, in collaboration with skilled physician specialists and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, continues to lead the way in complex cancer care, providing access to a highly specialized multidisciplinary team, including Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Gastroenterologists and Surgical Oncologists. Hoag’s committed to accurate diagnosis, combined with progressive therapeutic options enables Hoag patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes in the nation.

To schedule a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, or a second-opinion consultation with a Hoag expert, call us at 949-764-5350.