What is Biliary cancer?


There are two primary types of Biliary (Hepatobiliary) cancer: hepatocellular carcinoma, which refers to cancer than develops within the liver, and cholangiocarcinoma, which refers to cancer that develops within the liver's biliary ducts. Of these cancers, hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common.

Cholangiocarcinoma can be further categorized as either intrahepatic biliary duct cancer if the cancer develops within the ducts of the liver, or as extrahepatic biliary duct cancer if cancer occurs outside the liver, in the area that attaches the liver to the gallbladder.

In the United States, the most common cause of cholangiocarcinoma is primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an inflammatory condition of either the intrahepatic or extrahepatic bile ducts. PSC is thought to be an autoimmune disease, which causes blockages within bile ducts within the liver. It may also cause cancer in the ducts as well as liver failure. (In Asia, cholangiocarcinoma most often develops in individuals after certain parasitic infections.)

Continue Learning about Gastrointestinal Cancer

Gastrointestinal Cancer

Caused by tumors that grow slowly in our digestive system, gastrointestinal cancers can affect the appendix, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum.With no known cause, the tumors that cause these cancers usually do not show s...

ymptoms until after they have spread. See your doctor if you have shortness of breath, abdominal discomfort or bloating, rectal bleeding or bowel obstruction. You are at greater risk for developing gastrointestinal cancers if you have a family history of the cancers, are older than 50 or have other gastric problems, such as gastritis. Tumors called carcinoids and non-carcinoids cause cancer in the gastrointestinal tract, which houses the stomach and the intestines. Most carcinoid tumors are found in the tip of the appendix, which is attached to the large intestines. Tumors are often found when a person is treated for appendicitis or a doctor notices it accidentally in a CT scan. Aggressive treatments, such as surgery, are needed for large tumors.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.