Cancer can develop in the bile ducts (also known as "cholangiocarcinoma"), which carry bile from the liver to the small intestine to help digest fat. The cancer often blocks the ducts. A clogged or blocked bile duct can cause pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Bile duct cancer is rare and very serious. That's why it should be treated by a team of experts. The specialists at the Center for Advanced Digestive Care (CADC) of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center have extensive experience treating bile duct cancer, including the use of surgical, radiologic and advanced endoscopic approaches to relieve obstructed ducts and improve patients' quality of life. Patients may also have access to clinical trials of new molecular and targeted treatments as well as new surgical and endoscopic procedures to relieve symptoms and try to improve the survival rate for bile duct cancer.
Bile duct cancer may cause the following symptoms:
The following diagnostic tests may be performed to diagnose bile duct cancer:
Our specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating bile duct cancer. An interdisciplinary team of gastrointestinal specialists in endoscopy, radiology, and surgery work together as a team to provide each patient with coordinated, advanced, and individualized care.
Surgery to remove the tumor is a common treatment for bile duct cancer and can cure some patients. If found early enough, surgery can cure some patients. If a tumor blocks the bile duct, a small tube called a stent may help with drainage through the duct.
If the tumor is very large, the entire liver may need to be removed, and the patient will need a liver transplant. NewYork-Presbyterian has a distinguished track record for liver transplantation and features a team of world-renowned leaders in the field. The Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation offers a seamless integration of services, using both deceased and living donor liver tissue and minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques whenever possible to achieve excellent outcomes.
Our endoscopy specialists employ novel technologies to treat bile duct cancers, including:
To learn more about these procedures, visit the Advanced Interventional Endoscopy page.
To schedule an appointment, call the Center for Advanced Digestive Care at 1-877-902-2232. You can also view profiles of CADC physicians online.