- How is bile duct cancer treated?
- Surgery for bile duct cancer
- Radiation therapy for bile duct cancer
- Chemotherapy for bile duct cancer
- Palliative therapy for bile duct cancer
- Clinical trials for bile duct cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies for bile duct cancer
- Treatment of bile duct cancer based on the situation
- More treatment information about bile duct cancer
How is bile duct cancer treated?
General treatment information
This section begins with a summary of the types of treatments available to people with bile duct cancer. This is followed by a discussion of the usual treatments for bile duct cancers in certain situations.
Making treatment decisions
After bile duct cancer is found and staged, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. It is important for you to take time and think about your choices. In choosing a treatment plan, there are some factors to consider:
- The location and extent of the cancer
- Whether the cancer is resectable (removable by surgery)
- The likely side effects of treatment
- Your overall health
- The chances of curing the disease, extending life, or relieving symptoms
If time permits, it is often a good idea to seek a second opinion, particularly for an uncommon cancer like bile duct cancer. A second opinion can provide more information and help you feel more confident about your chosen treatment plan.
If the tumor is resectable, surgery is usually the main type of treatment for bile duct cancer, as it offers the only reasonable chance to cure the cancer. Radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may be added after surgery in some cases, or they may be used instead of surgery if the cancer cannot be entirely removed. In rare cases a liver transplant may also be an option.
Last Medical Review: 06/14/2012
Last Revised: 06/28/2012