Bile Duct Cancer

Highly experienced at diagnosing and treating bile duct cancer, City of Hope brings an aggressive, multidisciplinary approach to caring for people with the disease, offering them and their loved ones the most positive outcomes possible.

Through our clinical trials program – one of the most extensive in the nation – bile duct cancer patients can often access promising new anticancer drugs and technologies not available elsewhere.
Cancer of the bile duct is rare and often occurs in people over the age of 65. In the United States, there are between 2,000 and 3,000 cases of bile duct cancer diagnosed each year.
About Bile Duct Cancer
Bile Duct Cancers are indolent tumors and often grow slowly and spread gradually. The bile ducts are in close proximity to some of the main blood vessels going into the liver. These include the hepatic arteries and the portal vein. If these structures are involved it becomes difficult to clear the tumor and therefore deemed locally advanced.

Extrahepatic bile duct cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the part of bile duct that is outside the liver.

A network of bile ducts (tubes) connects the liver and the gallbladder to the small intestine. This network begins in the liver where many small ducts collect bile, a fluid made by the liver to break down fats during digestion. The small ducts come together to form the right and left hepatic bile ducts, which lead out of the liver. The two ducts join outside the liver to become the common hepatic duct. The part of the common hepatic duct that is outside the liver is called the extrahepatic bile duct. The extrahepatic bile duct is joined by a duct from the gallbladder (which stores bile) to form the common bile duct. Bile is released from the gallbladder through the common bile duct into the small intestine when food is being digested.

Recurrent Extrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer

Recurrent extrahepatic bile duct cancer is cancer that has recurred (come back) after it has been treated. The cancer may come back in the bile duct or in other parts of the body.
Bile Duct Cancer Symptoms

Possible symptoms of bile duct cancer are:
  •     jaundice
  •     clay-colored stools
  •     itching
  •     fever
  •     chills and rigors
  •     loss of appetite
  •     weight loss or abdominal and back pain as a consequence of the obstruction of these bile ducts.