Cholangiocarcinoma is a type of cancer that forms in the bile ducts. Symptoms include abdominal pain, yellowish skin, weight loss, generalized itching, and fever. Risk factors include primary sclerosing cholangitis, ulcerative colitis, cirrhosis, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, infection with certain liver flukes and congenital liver malformations.
About Cholangiocarcinoma in brief
Cholangiocarcinoma is a type of cancer that forms in the bile ducts. Symptoms include abdominal pain, yellowish skin, weight loss, generalized itching, and fever. Risk factors include primary sclerosing cholangitis, ulcerative colitis, cirrhosis, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, infection with certain liver flukes, and some congenital liver malformations. Most people have no identifiable risk factors. The diagnosis is suspected based on a combination of blood tests, medical imaging, endoscopy, and sometimes surgical exploration. The disease is confirmed by examination of cells from the tumor under a microscope. It is typically incurable at diagnosis. In these cases palliative treatments may include surgical resection, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and stenting procedures. Even when surgery is successful 5-year survival is typically less than 50%. Rates are higher in South-East Asia where liver fluke are common. Rates in parts of Thailand are 60 per 100,000 per year. It typically occurs in people in their 70s; however, in those with primary sclerosis cholangsitis it often occurs in the 40s. People with chronic liver disease, whether in alcoholic liver disease or cir rhosis of the liver, are at significantly increased risk of the disease. The lifetime risk of developing the disease for a person with PSC is on the order of 10–15% although autopsy series have found rates as high as 30% in this population.
Congenital liver abnormalities such as Caroli’s syndrome have been associated with an approximately 15% lifetime risk. The rare inherited liver disorder Lynch syndrome can cause bile biliary biliary cancer, although it is unclear whether HIV itself or other correlated factors were responsible for the association. Infection with the Helicobacter bilis species can cause the rare liver disorders. It has been identified as a potential risk factor in one study as well as HIV infection in one other study. The most common physical indications of the cancer are abnormal liver function tests, jaundice, abdominal pain, generalized itching, weight loss, fever, and changes in the color of stool or urine. The symptoms depend upon the location of the tumor. People in the extrahepatic bileducts are more likely to have jaundices, while those with tumors of the biles ducts within the liver more often have pain withoutJaundice. The cancer is rare in the Western world, with estimates of it occurring in 0.5–2 people per 100k per year, rates are higher in South East Asia. It can cause liver problems such as hepatitis C and cirrhotic liver disease. It may also lead to liver cancer, such as liver cancer of the ampulla of Vater.