Bile duct cancer usually gets diagnosed in the advanced stages, making cure and treatment challenging. Some signs and symptoms of bile duct cancer to watch out for are:
Though these symptoms may be observed in other conditions as well, visit your doctor if they are persistent.
Early diagnosis of bile duct cancer allows more treatment options. If your doctor suspects bile duct cancer based on your medical history, signs and symptoms, and physical evaluation, they may recommend you to undergo the following diagnostic tests:
To determine bile duct cancer treatment options, your doctor needs to know if cancer can be removed using surgery or requires additional(or adjuvant) treatments. Biopsy also enables cancer staging, provides information about cancer’s extent and likely response to treatment.
Treatment of bile duct cancer depends upon its location and extent, patient’s age and overall health, and possible side effects. Standard treatment options for bile duct cancer include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Localised or resectable cancers are confined to a small part of the bile duct and can be entirely removed by surgery. Unresectable cancers like stage 3 and stage 4 bile duct cancer are characterised by the spread of cancer to other parts of the body and cannot be removed entirely by surgery. These cases require additional treatments to reduce symptoms and improve prognosis.
Newer bile duct cancer treatment options include: