The Symptoms And Diagnosis You Need To Know About Bile Duct Cancer

The Symptoms And Diagnosis You Need To Know About Bile Duct Cancer

Bile Duct Cancer with a technical name Cholangiocarcinoma occurs when a cancerous tumor grows in one of the ducts in the human body responsible for transporting bile from the liver to the small intestine. The cancer is often classified depending upon their anatomical location, which include –

  • Intrahepatic
  • Perihilar
  • Extrahepatic

Similarly, the symptoms also depends upon the location of the tumor. 

Typical symptoms include

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pruritus (itching)
  • Distended gallbladder
  • Weight loss and/or progressive weakness

Diagnosis For Bile Duct Cancer

The basic diagnosis for Bile Duct Cancer is similar to other medical condition wherein the doctor performs a comprehensive physical exam. The doctor ask for the various symptoms and also look for the patient’s medical history. Beside this, there are other tests that the doctor may perform, which are:

Laboratory Tests – Certain blood tests will be performed for checking the functionality of the liver including the possibility of having tumor. These tests include

  • Liver function tests
  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP)
  • CEA and CA19-9

Endoscopic Diagnosis – An endoscope is a flexible, thin lighted tube used by the doctor to view the patient’s upper gastrointestinal tract. There are a number of endoscopic procedures, including 

Imaging Scans –Imaging scans are painless, noninvasive procedures done to obtain the detailed inside images of the body. The scans include 

  • Transabdominal ultrasound
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

Percutaneous Radiological Diagnosis – An invasive diagnosis, Percutaneous means using something to penetrate through the skin. The specialist while making use of a needle obtains images from the affected parts (internal) of the body. There are two types of percutaneous radiological diagnosis 

  • Angiography
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography

Depending upon the diagnosis, the doctor may suggest his/her patient with the right kind of treatment, which most often include the surgical removal of the tumor. However, there are other options available which include  radiologic therapy and endoscopic therapy.

Written By: Dr. Harman
Edited By: C. Soni

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