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Signs and Symptoms of Bile Duct Cancer | Cholangiocarcinoma

Bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma, as it is also known, is a rare cancer of the bile ducts which drain bile from the liver into the small intestine.  The annual incidence is one to two per 100,000 in the Western world, although the rates have been rising worldwide.  It is most prevalent in people aged fifty to seventy. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of bile duct cancer below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Signs and Symptoms of Bile Duct Cancer | Cholangiocarcinoma  are as follows:

  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes of stool and urine color

Bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma seldom produces symptoms in the early stages.  Patients who develop signs and symptoms of bile duct cancer will have several follow-up tests.  Bile duct cancer was considered to be incurable unless all of the tumors can be cut out surgically.  A liver transplant is now a potential option for people whose tumors cannot be completely removed surgically.  In some cases, bile duct cancer has been cured through a liver transplant.  Radiation and chemotherapy are used to slow down the progression of bile duct cancer, but not to cure it.

Diagnosis of Bile Duct Cancer | Cholangiocarcinoma

Several tests may be done to detect and diagnose bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma..  These include an untrasound, a CT scan or an MRI.  Bile duct cancer is definitively diagnosed through a tissue biopsy.  Sometimes, an ultrasound of the liver and bile ducts is sufficient in the diagnosis of bile duct cancer.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Bile Duct Cancer | Cholangiocarcinoma

21st Century Ultimate Medical Guide to Bile Duct Cancer – Authoritative, Practical Clinical Information for Physicians and Patients, Treatment Options (Two CD-ROM Set)
PM Medical Health
Complementary/Holistic Medicine for Bile Duct Cancer – It’s Your Life, Live It!
Michael Braham

Bile Duct Cancer: An entry from Gale’s Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.
Kevin, M.D. Hwang

Bile Duct Cancer Resources

General Patient Resources

  • American Cancer Society

If you (or a loved one) are worried about developing bile duct cancer, have just been diagnosed, are going through treatment, or are trying to stay well after treatment, this Detailed Guide can help you find the answers you need.

  • National Cancer Institute

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of extrahepatic bile duct cancer.

  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Explore the advanced bile duct cancer treatment options available at Cancer Treatment Centers of America today.

  • WD

Information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention, and prognosis.

  • Diagnose Me . com

Information about bile duct cancer, including incidence; causes and development; contributing risk factors; signs and symptoms; diagnosis and tests; treatment  and more.

  • Cancer Compass

Use our helpful online forum resources at to research bile duct cancer and find information about everything from treatment options to possible side effects.,0,119,20.htm

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Diagnosis and treatment options at the Mayo Clinic.