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Bile Duct Cancer Treatment on the Gulf Coast

Bile duct cancer is relatively rare. Yet, when it arises, it can spread to the liver and cause serious health problems. Infirmary Cancer Care can treat this cancer before it spreads to the liver. Our physicians have the skill and advanced technology to determine exactly which bile ducts are affected and formulate the best treatment plan to remove the tumor and get the liver functioning properly again. With a national reputation for cancer care and over a century of experience, Infirmary Health stands at the center of the cancer fight in Mobile and around the Gulf Coast.

Begin your fight against bile duct cancer today.

Bile Duct Cancer

Bile duct cancer occurs when the bile ducts, which drain the liver, become cancerous and experienced uncontrollable cell growth. Bile ducts are a web of miniature pipelines that transport bile through the liver. Bile consists of broken-down fats that are transported through the liver to be deposited in urine for expulsion from the body. Bile duct cancer causes growths in the ducts to create blockages and cause bile buildup in the bloodstream.


Bile duct cancer may not have symptoms as often as other liver cancers. Symptoms usually begin to arise when cancer hinders the flow of bile out of the liver. Common symptoms of bile duct cancer include:

  • Darkened urine
  • Jaundice
  • Localized pain
  • Weight loss
  • Indigestion

Dark urine is a common early symptom of the disease while continued bile blockages due to cancer will lead to jaundice. X-rays, CT scans and MRIs can help physicians locate the tumor and examine its severity. Some physicians may also use a CA 19-9 test to determine whether there is cancer. After diagnosing cancer, your physician will then determine the cancer’s stage.

The American Cancer Society has a helpful liver cancer stage guide.

Certain risk factors make bile duct cancer more probable. An individual who has a history of bile duct inflammation will usually be more likely to develop the disease. The formation of scar tissue in the bile ducts as well as frequent bile duct stones can also put an individual at a heightened risk of developing bile duct cancer. Hispanic Americans seem the most likely to develop this type of disease and living in southeast Asia and suffering from liver fluke infections also seem to increase an individual’s risk factor. Finally, individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease seem to be at a higher risk for bile duct cancer.

Treatment Options

Bile duct cancer can usually be treated through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The purpose of surgery would be to remove bile duct blockages and the tumor. This treatment is very common in bile duct tumor cases and would allow cancer to be removed without too much damage to the rest of the liver. Radiation therapy is often used as a follow-up treatment after surgery. It is also an effective treatment for small primary liner tumors or when surgery isn’t an option. Chemotherapy is not often used for liver cancer. Another option is targeted therapy. Bile duct cancers often possess a gene mutation, FGFR2 that acts to identify cancer cells. Targeted therapy uses medications to only attack cancer cells and not the rest of the liver or bile ducts.

Begin Your Bile Duct Cancer Treatment Today

For more information on treatments for bile duct cancer or to speak with one of our experts on scheduling a screening, call (251) 435-2273 today.

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