Treatment Options Based on the Extent of Bile Duct Cancer

cancer 389921 1280

cancer 389921 1280

In this article, we will learn some of the treatment options based on the extent of bile duct cancer. But, before we move to the treatment options, first let us understand what is Bile duct cancer, how does it arise?

Well, Bile duct cancer, also called cholangiocarcinoma, is a rare form of cancer which is found rarely in patients. Reports say that every year, about 2500 new cases of Bile duct cancer are diagnosed in the United States. 

This cancer grows from cells that line the bile ducts. Bile ducts are regarded as the drainage system for bile, which is produced by the liver. Bile ducts help the body by collecting this bile and further drains it into the gallbladder and then the small intestine—this bile aids in the digestion process. 

Bile duct cancers are located outside the liver in the perihilar area. It is rarely found within the liver. Sometimes, Bile duct cancer is difficult to treat. Your treatment depends on certain factors such as the effected area, size and type of bile duct cancer, whether it has spread or not and your health.

The treatment of Bile duct cancer may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.

Meanwhile, your specialist care team will explain the benefits and side effects of the treatments, create a treatment plan and help you manage any of the side effects that you may face. Besides, you will get regular check-ups during and after the treatments, along with any tests and scans.

Now, let us Discover More about the types of treatments suitable for curing the bile duct cancer:


Bile duct cancer can be taken out by cholangiocarcinoma surgery, depending on the size and location of your tumour. Surgery removes the bile duct cancer if cancer is found in the early stages, and it has not spread.

In the surgery process, cancer gets removed from all or parts of the bile duct, along with the lymph nodes (part of the immune system) and other organs around the bile duct. Sometimes, the tumour gets spread too far and cannot be removed easily. In this situation, surgery is performed to help control the symptoms of bile duct cancer. 

Now, let’s Discover More. 

Surgery may involve the steps to:

(i) help bypass a blockage in the small intestine or bile duct, which later cure jaundice or sick feeling,

(ii) stop the bile duct gets blocked, thus helps with jaundice, and,

(iii) prevent the blockage of the first part of the small intestine that allows a sick feeling.

These surgeries aim to help you survive for a more extended period, and not to cure cancer.

Sometimes, people may face advanced bile duct cancer. In that case, cancer cannot be cured by cholangiocarcinoma surgery.


Chemotherapy uses medicines to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is done for bile duct cancer:

(i) with radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy,

(ii) after the surgery process to remove any remaining cancer and stop the disease from returning, and,

(iii) to make cancer smaller and help control the symptoms of cancer, in the absence of surgery.


Radiotherapy uses high-energy radiation rays to kill cancer cells. It is rarely used to treat bile duct cancer. Radiotherapy is done:

(i) with chemoradiotherapy,

(ii) after the surgery process to stop the disease from returning, and,

(iii) to help control the symptoms of advanced disease.


When people face advanced bile duct cancer. In that case, cancer cannot be cured by surgery.

So, in that situation, your goal should be to limit cancer and its symptoms, which will help you survive longer.

If your cancer is not cured then, you will be referred to the symptom control team or a palliative care team. It will help you manage your symptoms and make you feel comfortable. They also help you get any support you need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *