What are the key statistics about bile duct cancer?
Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) is not common. About 8,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with bile duct cancer each year. This includes both intrahepatic (inside the liver) and extrahepatic (outside the liver) bile duct cancers. But the actual number of cases is likely to be higher, as these cancers can be hard to diagnose, and some might be misclassified as other types of cancer.
Bile duct cancer is much more common in Southeast Asia, mostly because a parasitic infection that can cause bile duct cancer is much more common there.
Bile duct cancer can occur at younger ages, but it is seen mainly in older people. The average age of people in the US diagnosed with cancer of the intrahepatic bile ducts is 70, and for cancer of the extrahepatic bile ducts it is 72.
The chances of survival for patients with bile duct cancer depend to a large extent on its location and how advanced it is when it is found. For survival statistics, see the section “Survival statistics for bile duct cancers.”
Last Medical Review: 11/01/2014
Last Revised: 10/20/2016