At GenesisCare we use state-of-the art technology and best practice, evidence-based treatment protocols to provide the latest cancer treatments.
Bile ducts are part of the digestive system and are the tubes that link the liver and gallbladder to the small bowel. They transport bile, which helps break down the fat in our food. Bile duct cancer is rare. You are more likely to get it if you’re aged over 65.1
Extra-hepatic bile ducts are split into two areas:
Doctors don’t yet know what causes bile duct cancer, but some things can make it more likely. These include:1
Having these symptoms does not mean you have bile duct cancer, but it is best to get them checked by a doctor.
Your doctor will discuss your specific symptoms with you. You may need tests including:1,2
Treatment for bile duct cancer will depend on the location and extent of the cancer, whether the cancer can be removed with surgery, likely side effects of treatment and your overall health.2 Your doctor (oncologist) will discuss the treatment options with you. They may include:
Radiation destroys cancer cells in a targeted site in your body. Treatment is carefully planned, and with the developments in technology, very little harm is done to normal body tissue surrounding the tumour.3
You may have internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) – high dose brachytherapy is a specialised treatment for selected patients with biliary cholangiocarcinoma. It is undertaken with an interventional radiation therapist following percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram. Other patients with cholangiocarcinoma may be more suited to external beam radiation.
Radiation therapy can be delivered independently or alongside chemotherapy. Your doctor will discuss your specific treatment plan with you.
Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer by disrupting the cell cycle. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.
A cancer diagnosis is life changing. Even before your initial encounter with us you will experience a wave of emotions. It’s natural to feel disbelief, anxiety, sadness, anger and loneliness. At GenesisCare we understand these emotions and strive to strengthen your confidence, settle your emotions and create care experiences for the best possible outcomes.
Our care team know your name and get to know who you are as a person. We don’t want you to feel alone when you’re at GenesisCare. Your nursing team and oncology team are here to support you before, during and after your cancer treatment. We are here to guide you to get the support you need which may include a psychologist, exercise physiologist, physiotherapist and dietitian.
Please contact your local GenesisCare centre for more details on services available. View a list of our centres here.
General side effects:3
Specific side effects (depending on the area being treated):
Most of these side effects will ease shortly after treatment is finished. Your team will discuss any long-term considerations with you depending on the tumour type.
Whether you experience side effects and how severe they are, depends on the type and dose of drugs you are given and your reaction from one treatment cycle to the next.
You may worry about the side effects of chemotherapy. If you feel upset or anxious about how long treatment is taking or the impact of side effects, let your doctor or nurse know.
What can I do to help my treatment go smoothly?