What is Combined Hepatocellular Cholangiocarcinoma?Combined hepatocellular cholangiocarcinoma is a rare type of cancer that affects both the liver and the biliary tract of the body and mainly originated from the liver cells of the body. It is a distinct type of cancer, and its diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis (the likely course of the disease) are uncertain.
What is the Biliary Tree or Biliary Tract?The biliary tree or system consists of the liver, gall bladder, and bile ducts. This system makes, store and secrete bile juice. Bile juice breaks down the fats into fatty acids thus helping in the digestion of the fats.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause, but there are certain risk factors, such as past or current viral hepatitis infection, chronic inflammation of the gall bladder, liver fluke infestation (a parasitic infestation of the liver), excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, excessive or unnecessary use of steroids, iron supplements, and diabetes mellitus.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Repeated pain in the abdomen
- Yellowish discolouration of the skin and the eyes (Jaundice)
- Constant body itching
- Pain in the upper right corner of the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Blood coagulation profile
- BUN ( blood urea and nitrogen)
- Serum creatinine
- Liver function tests LFTs
- Amylase and lipase values
- Imaging techniques like CT scan, MRI, PET scan, X-Ray, and USG to detect the site and size of the tumour.
- Cholangioscopy (USG of the gall bladder and biliary tree)
- MRCP (Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography
- Serum bilirubin total, serum bilirubin conjugated and unconjugated
- Preoperative biopsy