Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, is a rare but aggressive type of cancer that develops in the cells lining the bile ducts, which are small tubes that carry bile from the liver to the small intestine.
Cholangiocarcinoma is often difficult to diagnose in its early stages because it may not cause any symptoms. As the cancer progresses, symptoms may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, and itching.
There are several types of cholangiocarcinoma, depending on where the cancer is located in the bile ducts. The most common type is intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, which develops within the liver, while extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma develops in the bile ducts outside of the liver.
Treatment for cholangiocarcinoma depends on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. Treatment options may include surgery to remove the tumor, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches. Unfortunately, cholangiocarcinoma is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, which can make it difficult to treat. As a result, the prognosis for cholangiocarcinoma is generally poor, with a relatively low survival rate compared to other types of cancer. However, with early detection and aggressive treatment, some patients may be able to achieve long-term remission or even a cure.