Bile Duct Cancer

Our experts specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of bile duct cancer, also known as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Bile duct cancer forms in the bile ducts—the small tubes that carry digestive fluid called bile from the liver to the small intestine.

Our doctors can identify conditions affecting the liver that may increase your risk of bile duct cancer such as cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)—a chronic disease of the bile ducts. Bile duct cancer is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage because there are few early signs. Some people may experience symptoms, including itching, dark urine, jaundice, light-colored or greasy stools, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, and nausea.

To diagnose bile duct cancer, your doctor may order a blood test and imaging tests such as a cholangiogram—a type of X-ray that creates images of the bile ducts. Surgery is usually the most effective treatment for early bile duct cancer. When surgery is not an option, our doctors evaluate whether you may be eligible for a liver transplant. Our doctors may also use embolization—a technique that destroys cancer cells by delivering chemotherapy or radiation therapy directly to bile duct tumors and liver tumors.

Our team at Perlmutter Cancer Center’s Liver Tumor Program includes hepatologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and radiologists who work together to develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs.