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Bile duct tumours

Tumours of the bile ducts

HCA UK's experts can help to diagnose and treat a range of tumours, including bile duct tumours

About

Bile ducts carry a substance that digests fat (bile) within the digestive system. Tumours can sometimes develop in the bile ducts and tend to be benign (non-cancerous or adenomas) but others are malignant (cancerous), which means they could spread into other organs (parts of your body). Cancerous bile duct tumours are called cholangiocarcinomas.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of bile duct tumours icon plus

    The bile ducts are small tubes connecting the liver, the gallbladder and the small intestine. Tumours can affect any part of the bile ducts, but cholangiocarcinomas are rare and are most common in adults aged over 65. Tumours of the bile duct can be removed by surgery in most cases, but cholangiocarcinomas can only be treated if found early. The most common symptoms of bile duct tumours are: - yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice) - pale stools and dark urine - itchy skin - persistent tiredness - weight loss It’s important to see your GP if you have any of the symptoms above, especially jaundice.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Bile duct tumours can be diagnosed in several ways. Your GP or consultant will discuss your symptoms with you. Tests they recommend may include: - blood test (to determine how well the liver is working) - X-ray (endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreatogram or ERCP, which can also unblock the bile duct if it is necessary) - CT scan, MRI or ultrasound of the bile duct tumour
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Treatment options for bile duct tumours will depend on the size, type and location of tumour you have, whether it has spread and your overall health and fitness. Treatment may include: - surgery to remove all or part of the bile ducts - cholecystectomy (keyhole or open surgery to remove the gallbladder) - whipple’s procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy), an operation to remove part of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), the gallbladder and the bile duct. - chemotherapy to prevent the growth of cancer - radiotherapy to kill cancer cells through radiation

Types of malignant bile duct tumours

Intrahepatic bile duct cancer

This type of cholangiocarcinoma starts in the liver bile ducts

Common bile duct cancer

This type of cholangiocarcinoma starts common bile duct (between the gallbladder and duodenum)

Klatskin tumours

Also known as perihilar cancers, these start where the left and right hepatic ducts join

Extrahepatic cancer

This type of cholangiocarcinoma starts in the bile ducts outside of the liver
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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