Diagnosing & Treating Bile Duct Cancer
You are not alone.
Hoag Family Cancer Institute offers exceptional medical and surgical treatment for bile duct cancer. Our subspecialized team of medical oncologists and surgeons employ groundbreaking research and the latest diagnostics and therapies to give you the very best odds at beating cancer.
How is Bile Duct (Biliary) Cancer Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing any symptoms that might suggest bile duct cancer, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms, likely followed by a thorough physical exam and bloodwork. Depending on the outcome of those tests, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for other tests that may include:
- Checking for high levels of carbohydrate antigen CA 19-9 in your blood, which can sometimes suggest the presence of bile duct cancer.
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): In this test, the doctor passes a long, flexible tube with a camera at the end through your mouth, through the stomach and into the bile ducts to visually examine them.
- Liver function tests
- Imaging tests that may include CT, PET or MRI scans.
- Surgical biopsy
The Hoag Family Cancer Institute offers world-class programs for cancer of all types, including bile duct cancer, with multidisciplinary teams, state-of-the-art facilities and technology and the latest in cancer therapies.
What Are The Treatment Options for Bile Duct (Biliary) Cancer?
Treatment options for bile duct cancer depend on many factors, including how advanced the cancer is when detected, your age and any other health issues you may have. Treatments for bile duct cancer vary from patient to patient, but may include:
- Biliary drainage
- Liver transplant
- Immunotherapy, which primes your immune system to fight the cancer
- Radiation therapy
- Hoag radiation oncologists and medical physicists work together with the Hoag team of bile duct cancer experts to develop an individualized treatment plan using the latest radiation therapy techniques
- Image-Guided Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IG-IMRT)
- Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT).
- Precision Medicine, in which Hoag physicians test the DNA of patients’ tumors, then develop treatments tailored specifically to the mutations that caused the cancer. That allows physicians to treat the cancer very precisely. Hoag is a national leader in the use of precision medicine in several types of cancer, including bile duct cancer.
Surgery and Advanced Treatments for Bile Duct Cancer at Hoag
Facing surgery can be a frightening prospect, but it is a vital component in the successful treatment of many cancers. The Hoag Family Cancer Institute’s medical team includes experienced, fellowship-trained cancer surgeons who utilize the latest techniques and technology in the surgical management of many different cancers, including bile duct cancer.
Non-Surgical Options for Bile Duct Cancer at Hoag
Hoag’s non surgical options, including chemotherapy and radiation therapies, are world-class as well. Hoag was recently named a Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Center of Excellence (RTCoE) by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), a distinction held by only 17 centers in the U.S. including Stanford Health Care, Harvard Medical School and the University of California — San Francisco.
Hoag Family Cancer Institute’s Radiation Oncology Program offers personalized services to treat cancers. Explore advanced treatment technologies for cancer treatment available at Hoag.
Research & Clinical Trials for Bile Duct (Biliary) Cancer
Hoag is committed to leading the way in state-of-the-art technologies and advanced treatment options. Part of this commitment includes clinical research with the goal of helping patients live longer, healthier lives. Through carefully planned clinical trials, researchers evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases or conditions. Treatments studied in clinical trials might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. View clinical trials for biliary-gallbladder cancer here.