What is Papillary Cholangiocarcinoma of the Biliary tract?
Papillary cholangiocarcinoma of the biliary tract is comprised of ductal protruding tumours that develop within the bile ducts or biliary tract. The bile ducts are thin tubes that exit the liver and enter the intestines. The bile ducts allow bile fluid to pass from the liver to the intestines, which aids in the digestion of fats.
What is the Biliary tree?
The biliary tree or system is 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 helps in the digestion of the fats.
It is rare cancer and accounts for 4-38% of all bile duct cancers. It is more prevalent in the Far East population such as Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. It is commonly developed in people between the ages of 50 to 70 years. It is slightly more common in males as compared to females.
There is no well-known cause, however, Liver Fluke infestation, chronic inflammation of the gall bladder, chronic inflammation of the biliary tree, gall bladder stones, and bile duct stones are the risk factor for the development of papillary 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.
- Cholangioscopy (USG of the gall bladder and biliary tree)
- MRCP (Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography
- Serum bilirubin total, serum bilirubin conjugated and unconjugated
- Preoperative biopsy
Surgical removal of the tumour is the most common and effective treatment option. In moderately advanced cases, the standard surgery is the surgical removal of the bile duct with or without pancreas resection (surgical removal of the pancreas). Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the treatment options in the advanced metastasis cases of the adenocarcinoma of the biliary tree.
What Support can we Give for Papillary Cholangiocarcinoma of the Biliary Tract?
Papillary 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 Papillary 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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