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Bile duct cancer

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about bile duct cancer

Bile duct cancer requires expert care. Know your options.

Bile duct cancer is a rare disease, accounting for 10 to 20 percent of all liver cancers. It may cause symptoms such as jaundice, itching, abdominal pain and weight loss. The vast majority of these cancers are known as cholangiocarcinomas. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 8,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with bile duct cancer annually. The organization notes that because this type of cancer may be hard to diagnose and may be misclassified as another cancer type, the number of cases may actually be greater.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our oncologists are trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating bile duct cancers. Our multidisciplinary teams of cancer experts will evaluate the disease to determine its type and stage, using the information to tailor a treatment plan to your needs and diagnosis.

bile duct cancer

What you should know after a bile duct cancer diagnosis

Treatment options

female patient being assisted as she goes into an MRI scanner

Treatment options for bile duct cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, gastroenterology procedures and, in some cases, novel investigative approaches. The size and location of each patient’s tumor(s) help determine the patient’s personalized treatment plan.

Typically, surgery is an option for patients whose cancers can be removed, which depends on the tumor’s size and location.

Radiation therapy
Radiation treatments for bile duct cancer is use targeted approaches to kill cancer cells and spare as much healthy tissue as possible.

Gastroenterology procedures
Several gastrointestinal (GI) procedures may be recommended for bile duct cancer treatment.

Learn more about treatments for bile duct cancer

Supportive care

All our patients have access to supportive care services designed to help them manage the side effects of cancer and its treatment, to help patients stay strong and maintain quality of life throughout treatment. Supportive care services for bile duct cancer patients may include:

​Nutritional support

Every patient has the option of meeting with a registered dietitian.

​Pain management

Pain management is a branch of medicine focused on reducing pain and improving quality of life through an integrative approach to care.

​Mind-body support

​Our mind-body support program is designed to support you and your caregivers before, during and after cancer treatment.


"I have good days and bad, but I always have a positive attitude knowing that I survived. I often sit outside looking at the stars and enjoying the back porch, not taking my time for granted. I also enjoy spending time with my son and two grandsons, who are the center of my universe. Also, I am expecting a granddaughter in July. I am grateful for every moment."

Kimberly Jensen

Kimberly J.

Stomach Cancer