Biliary cancer, also known as bile duct cancer and gallbladder cancer are generally aggressive cancers. Bile ducts are the tubes that take bile from the liver and pass it through to the small bowel. Bile duct cancer arises from the cells within the bile ducts; both inside and outside the liver.
Gallbladder cancers are commonly identified incidentally when the gallbladder is removed for other reasons, such as for pain related to gallstone disease. Sometimes they present as an abdominal mass found on examination. In the more advanced cases they present in a similar way to bile duct cancer.
Different types of bile duct cancers include:
This begins where the right hepatic duct joins the left hepatic duct. Approximately 50% of all bile duct cancers are Klatskin tumours.
Intrahepatic Bile Duct Cancers
This begins in the bile ducts in that connect to the liver and is also known as primary liver cancer.
Common Bile Duct Cancers
This begins in the common bile duct which connects to the small bowel and where it meets the pancreatic duct.
Multifocal Bile Duct Cancer
This type of cancer means that there is more than one tumour present and they’re in different areas of the bile ducts.