Bile is a liquid produced in the liver, and is stored in large quantities in the gallbladder. It is required by the body for the digestion of fats. Now, the structures that carry this liquid are long, similar to tubes, and each of them is known as a bile duct. These tubes carry bile from the liver to the small intestine.
Each cell in the body contains what is known as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). It contains information that indicates that cells grow, divide and die in an orderly manner. However, certain factors cause unwanted changes in the DNA, leading to what is known as a mutation. And when this happens, the instructions that control cell growth are interrupted. And this can result in a mutated DNA and prevent the cell from continuing to grow.
In this way, an affected cell can grow and divide in an uncontrolled form, usually faster, and form a mass of tissue known as a tumor. Over time, these cancer cells begin to invade tissues and spread to other parts of the body, using the blood and lymphatic systems, such as modes of transmission. In this case, cholangiocarcinoma . Fortunately, this condition is considered a rare event, and people between 50 and 70 are known to be the most vulnerable. In addition, the condition occurs more in men than in women.
Prognosis of bile duct cancer
# Unfortunately, in some cases (1 in 10 cases) the cancer is detected when it has already begun to develop, and the person is unable to have a full recovery. According to studies, in most cases, a person’s life expectancy after being diagnosed with bile duct cancer is two years on average . However, there may be exceptions with some people, in which 1 in 20 people can survive with the disease for more than 5 years.
# As with most types of cancer, it is known to be an asymptomatic disease (without symptoms), at least when it is in its initial phase. And when the symptoms appear on the surface, it means that the cancer has already progressed to an advanced stage in which the tumor stops the flow of bile from the liver to the intestine. And this malfunction causes such symptoms as jaundice, clay-colored stools, itchy skin, dark urine, abnormal weight loss, pain in the abdomen, fever, chills or night sweats.
# Because this type of cancer does not show any manifestation in its early stages, it is diagnosed when it has already reached an advanced stage in which the chances of curing the condition are very poor. The prognosis of the disease is brighter when it is still in its initial stage. Here, cancer cells are located, or in other words, are contained inside the bile duct. And so, part or all of the affected bile duct can be surgically removed, and the condition can be cured. But once the cancer metastasizes (spread out of place), then the expectations of a cure for the disease become more bleak.
Despite the low life expectancy in this type of cancer, proper treatment can make a big difference in the management of symptoms, and improve the quality of life. Speaking of its prevention, so the exact causes of cancer are not known, there are no guarantee ways to prevent its development. However, there are ways that can reduce the risks. These may include avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, and having protection against viral hepatitis B and hepatitis C. To add to this, most experts advise people to go to regular medical checkups. It often happens that a person is diagnosed with cancer during a routine physical exam, even though he / she has no symptoms. And as already mentioned, the sooner the cancer is detected, the better the prognosis and, therefore, Life expectancy will be greater. Be careful!