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Bile Duct Cancer

Bile Duct Cancer Causes

To date, bile duct cancer has no definite cause. However, chronic inflammatory processes such as parasitic infections of the bile ducts are believed to play a role. In addition, the disease is also closely associated with congenital abnormalities of the bile ducts.

Bile Duct Cancer Definition

Bile duct cancer is a relatively rare carcinoma affecting the biliary tract. This type of cancer, also called cholangiocarcinomas, can also occur in several areas in and around the liver.

Bile Duct Cancer Diagnosis

Tenderness during an abdominal exam usually indicates bile duct cancer. For a definite diagnosis, a physician may perform an abdominal CT scan, an abdominal ultrasound, an abdominal x-ray, plus a CBC to screen for elevated white blood cell count.

Bile Duct Cancer Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of bile duct cancer generally develop slowly and are commonly subtle. Jaundice, or a condition wherein the skin turns yellow, and itching are the two most common signs. Other symptoms linked to bile duct cancer are: weight loss, appetite loss, bloating, fever, nausea, and an expanding mass in the abdomen.

Bile Duct Cancer Treatment

Bile duct cancer can only be definitely treated by removing the tumor surgically. If the malignant mass cannot be completely removed, the treatment focuses on symptom management and pain relief.

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