A network of tubes, called ducts, connects the liver, gallbladder, and 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 ducts, which lead out of the liver. The two ducts join outside the liver and form the common hepatic duct. The cystic duct connects the gallbladder to the common hepatic duct. Bile from the liver passes through the hepatic ducts, common hepatic duct, and cystic duct and is stored in the gallbladder.
When food is being digested, bile stored in the gallbladder is released and passes through the cystic duct to the common bile duct and into the small intestine. Bile duct cancer is also called cholangiocarcinoma.
There are two types of bile duct cancer:
Intrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer
This type of cancer forms in the bile ducts inside the liver. Only a small number of bile duct cancers are intrahepatic. Intrahepatic bile duct cancers are also called intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas.
Extrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer
This type of cancer forms in the bile ducts outside the liver. The extrahepatic bile duct is made up of the hilum region and the distal region. Cancer can form in either region:
Perihilar bile duct cancer: This type of cancer is found in the hilum region, the area where the right and left bile ducts exit the liver and join to form the common hepatic duct. Perihilar bile duct cancer is also called a Klatskin tumor or perihilar cholangiocarcinoma.
Distal bile duct cancer: This type of cancer is found in the distal region. The distal region is made up of the common bile duct which passes through the pancreas and ends in the small intestine.
Distal bile duct cancer is also called extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
Increase The Risk Of Bile Duct Cancer
Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn't mean that you will not get cancer. People who think they may be at risk should discuss this with their doctor.
Signs of bile duct cancer
These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by bile duct cancer or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following
Clay colored stool.
Pain in the abdomen.
Nausea and vomiting.
Weight loss for an unknown reason.
Published Date: Mar 27, 2021
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