Signs and Symptoms of Bile Duct Cancer
- 02 Jul 2019
- #Liver Health
Cholangiocarcinoma or adenocarcinoma, commonly known as bile duct cancer, is a rare type of cancer of the bile duct, usually affecting adults over the age of 50. There are fewer than 1000 reported cases of bile duct cancer in India annually.
Bile ducts are small tubes (approximately 10cm to 15cm long), that connects your liver and small intestine. It transports a fluid called bile from the liver, through the pancreas, to your gut, where it helps digest the fat in your food.
Cancerous cells can start from anywhere in the bile duct, and then spread to different parts of your body like the liver or pancreas.
Bile duct cancer is classified into different types based on its location.
Bile ducts are located deep inside your body, so signs and symptoms are difficult to detect early on. However, since tumours in the bile duct obstruct the flow of bile from the liver or gallbladder, the earliest symptoms include poor liver function conditions.
Signs and symptoms you should watch out for are:
Decreased appetite, weight loss, changes in stool or urine (light-coloured stools and dark urine) are also symptoms of this cancer.
Bile duct cancer is an extremely rare form of cancer, but staying aware can only keep you and your loved ones safe. You may be at risk of bile duct cancer if you have:
Other risk factors include being over the age of 50, or excessive smoking for a long time.
Precision-treatment techniques are being researched upon continually by medical experts and have shown substantial benefits in treating various forms of cancer, including bile duct cancer.
Other treatment methods include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and supportive and palliative therapy. However, these are most effective if the cancer is detected in the early stages.
Prevention is the most effective, first step to avoiding any type of cancer. You should:
Dealing with the news of cancer is not an easy task. However, there is care and support always available. If you notice any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, consult your doctor and get the required screenings done.
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