Biliary Tract Cancer - Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms & Treatment
Healthy Lifestyle

Biliary Tract Cancer - Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms & Treatment

Risk factors

Factors defined as risk factors are those that increase the probability of developing a disease. However, the point that should be mentioned here is that; The fact that a person has one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean that that person will develop that cancer/or disease. Some people have risk factors but do not develop disease/cancer.

Known risk factors for biliary tract (bile duct) cancers are:

  • Liver and biliary tract diseases (such as hepatitis B, C, cirrhosis)
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Ulcerative Colitis and Chrohn's Disease
  • Advanced age
  • Obesity or overweight
  • Alcohol use
  • Diabetes


The most common symptoms of bile duct cancer are:

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Itchy skin
  • Oily and light-colored stools
  • Darkening of urine color
  • Waist and/or abdomen
  • Anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss


Tests and methods used in the diagnosis of bile duct cancers are as follows;

  • Blood tests; Liver function tests, bilirubin, CEA, and CA 19-9 markers may be elevated.
  • Different imaging methods such as ultrasonography, MR, computed tomography can be used.
  • Bile ducts can be visualized by cholangiography
  • Vascular structures can be visualized by angiography


The treatment of each patient differs, and multiple factors such as the location of the disease, the stage of the disease, the patient's age, and other health problems are effective in the treatment decision. These treatments, which require a multidisciplinary study, include different options such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

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