What is Nodular Cholangiocarcinoma of the Biliary Tract?
Nodular cholangiocarcinoma of the biliary tract is a malignant (cancerous) tumour arising from the epithelium of the biliary tract. It is the second most common cancer after liver cancer. Nodular cholangiocarcinoma of the biliary tract showed a higher death rate and a poor prognosis (the probable course of the disease). It tends to metastases and can spread to the lymph nodes, blood, bones, lungs, adrenal glands, liver, and brain. The five-year survival rate with treatment is 10-44%.
What is a Biliary tree or Biliary system?
The biliary tree or system is consists of the liver, gall bladder, and bile ducts. This system makes, stores and secrete bile juice. Bile juice breaks down the fats into fatty acids thus helping indigestion.
Besides that, it is a rare disease the incidence (frequency of the occurrence of the disease) is higher in South East Asia and the Middle East. It is more common in older people with mean age greater than 65 years of age. It is slightly more common in males as compared to females.
There is no well-known cause, but obesity, chronic inflammation of the gallbladder chronic inflammation of the biliary tract, HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Salmonella typhus, H. pylori infection, Epstein Bar virus infection, liver cirrhosis, and a history of gallstones are the factors underlying the development of adenocarcinoma of the biliary tree. Exposure to certain toxins such as thorotrast, dioxin, polyvinyl chloride, and excessive alcohol consumption is also associated with nodular cholangiocarcinoma of the biliary tract.
Signs and Symptoms
The 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
The 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 LFT’s
- 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.
- Serum bilirubin total, serum bilirubin conjugated and unconjugated
- Preoperative biopsy
Surgical removal of the tumour along with the resection (surgical removal) of the ipsilateral (same side) liver lobe is the most common and effective treatment option. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the treatment options in the advanced metastasis cases of the nodular cholangiocarcinoma of the biliary tract.
What Support can we Give for Nodular Cholangiocarcinoma of the Biliary Tract?
Nodular Cholangiocarcinoma of the Biliary Tract is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Nodular Cholangiocarcinoma of the Biliary Tract, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: