Published On: Sat, Feb 25th, 2023

Cancer: Initial symptoms of bile duct cancer

Bile duct cancer diagnosis can be difficult; however, it can be confirmed with a number of tests, including blood tests, CT scan of the abdomen, MRCP, gastrointestinal endoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), cholangioscopy, and endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS). During EUS precision ultrasound scan of the bile duct and its problems can be studied by endoscopy in a sedated patient. During ERCP patients may be given an injection of a specialised dye that makes the bile ducts and the cancer more noticeable. Cholangioscopy is an advanced investigation wherein a small scope is passed into the bile duct to directly visualise the cancer.

“Biopsy confirmation of cancer can be done during EUS, ERCP or cholangioscopy. Staging of the cancer is done by imaging. Based on the stage, surgery or chemotherapy may be offered. In an advanced stage of the disease, endoscopic procedures can relieve jaundice and give the patient a good quality of life,” says Dr. Raju.

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