Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma)

Bile duct cancer, also referred to as cholangiocarcinoma, is a type of cancer that forms in the bile ducts, the slender tubes that carry digestive fluid bile from the liver and gallbladder into the small intestine.

There are three types of cholangiocarcinoma: intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, which occurs in the parts of the bile ducts within the liver and is sometimes classified as a type of liver cancer; hilar or perihilar cholangiocarcinoma, which occurs in the bile ducts just outside of the liver; and distal or extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, which occurs in the portion of the bile duct nearest the small intestine.

Symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma may include yellowing of the skin and eyes, white-colored stool, and abdominal pain on the right side, just below the ribs.

Doctors in the GW Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Program may treat bile duct cancer using a combination of immunotherapies, minimally invasive robotic surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, depending on the patient’s needs.