Can bile duct cancer be prevented?
The exact cause of most cases of bile duct cancer in the United States is not known, so it is not clear how it can be prevented. But there are some things that may reduce a person's risk.
Maintaining a healthy weight is one important way a person may reduce the chance of developing bile duct cancer, as well as many other types of cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that people try to stay at a healthy weight throughout life by being physically active and eating a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.
Other ways that people may be able to reduce their risk of bile duct cancer include:
- Get vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus to prevent infection with this virus and the cirrhosis it can cause.
- Take precautions to avoid blood-borne or sexually transmitted infections by other viruses (like hepatitis C) to help prevent cirrhosis.
- Treat hepatitis infections (such as B and C) to help prevent cirrhosis
- Avoid excessive alcohol use to help prevent cirrhosis.
- Quit (or don't start) smoking.
- Avoid exposure to the certain chemicals (see the section, "What are the risk factors for bile duct cancer?").
Last Medical Review: 06/14/2012
Last Revised: 06/28/2012