Miami Cancer Institute takes a multidisciplinary team approach to providing the best possible diagnosis, treatment and palliative care for patients with bile duct and gallbladder cancers.
Bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma, occurs within the bile ducts – the vessels within and around the liver and gallbladder that move bile into the upper part of the small intestine to aid in digesting food.
Gallbladder cancer begins in the gallbladder – a small, organ that stores bile, located on the right side of your abdomen beneath your liver. Gallbladder cancer is uncommon.
Expert Cancer Care
Michael Chuong, M.D., is the Institute’s lead physician for proton therapy – a highly advanced form of radiation technology that targets cancer cells with pencil-beam scanning precision while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. His clinical specialty and research focus is on the use of radiation therapy to treat gastrointestinal cancers such as bile duct cancer.
Bile Duct Cancer Risk Factors
People with the following conditions tend to have a higher risk of bile duct cancer:
- Biliary parasites
- Chronic hepatitis C
- Congenital bile duct cysts
- Ulcerative colitis
Gallbladder Cancer Risk Factors
- Over age 70
- History of gallstones, chronic inflammation or polyps
- Porcelain gallbladder (calcium deposits)
- Family history of gallbladder cancer
Symptoms of Bile Duct and Gallbladder Cancers
Bile duct and gallbladder cancers rarely cause symptoms until they have reached an advanced stage.
Symptoms may include:
- Abdominal mass, pain or bloating
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Lack of appetite and weight loss
- Light-colored stools and dark urine