How is bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) diagnosed?
To diagnose cholangiocarcinoma, your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your overall health, family history, lifestyle and symptoms.
To confirm the diagnosis, some tests may be recommended, which include:
Abdominal ultrasound, computerised tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) to look for tumours inside your abdomen
Biopsy to extract a sample of bile duct cells which are checked for cancer cells
Blood tests to check your liver function and bilirubin levels, or to look for tumour markers
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), in which a dye is injected into the bile duct, to create a clearer X-ray result
Endoscopy to view the inside of the lower intestine
Laparoscopy to view the bile duct, gallbladder, liver and surrounding tissues
How is bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) treated?
Treatment for bile duct cancer will depend on whether the cancer can be completely removed with surgery (resectable) or not (unresectable). Your overall health and type or location of the tumour may also influence your treatment options, which may include both surgical and non-surgical treatments.