Bile duct cancer is often discovered during a CT scan or ultrasound for unrelated health reasons. It can also be found during routine gallbladder surgery.
The most common symptoms of biliary cancer include:
- Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Itching is a common symptom. It is caused by excess bilirubin in the blood reaching the skin.
- Enlarged abdominal mass: As the tumor grows and interferes with nearby organs, it can cause a visible mass.
- Abdominal pain and/or bloating can occur in advanced stages of bile duct cancer.
- Lack of appetite or unexplained weight loss
- Nausea and/or fever: These symptoms are often caused by abnormal liver function, infection caused by the blockage of bile ducts or an increase in bilirubin.
- Light-colored stools with dark colored urine
Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have bile duct cancer. However, it’s crucial to discuss these conditions with your doctor so that the disease can be diagnosed as early as possible.