Other biliary tract cancers include gallbladder cancer and cancer of the ampulla of Vater. 2 cases per 100,000 in the Western world, but rates of cholangiocarcinoma have been rising worldwide over the past few decades. Prominent signs and symptoms chamberlain’s symptoms and signs in clinical medicine pdf cholangiocarcinoma include abnormal liver function tests, abdominal pain, jaundice, and weight loss. Other symptoms such as generalized itching, fever, and changes in color of stool or urine may also occur.
The disease is diagnosed through a combination of blood tests, imaging, endoscopy, and sometimes surgical exploration, with confirmation obtained after a pathologist examines cells from the tumor under a microscope. However, most people with cholangiocarcinoma have no identifiable risk factors. Cholangiocarcinoma is considered to be an incurable and rapidly lethal cancer unless both the primary tumor and any metastases can be fully removed by surgery.
No potentially curative treatment exists except surgery, but most people have advanced stage disease at presentation and are inoperable at the time of diagnosis. People with cholangiocarcinoma are generally managed – though not cured – with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other palliative care measures. Blood tests of liver function in patients with cholangiocarcinoma often reveal a so-called “obstructive picture,” with elevated bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transferase levels, and relatively normal transaminase levels. Such laboratory findings suggest obstruction of the bile ducts, rather than inflammation or infection of the liver parenchyma, as the primary cause of the jaundice.
Although most patients present without any known risk factors evident, a number of risk factors for the development of cholangiocarcinoma have been described. Certain parasitic liver diseases may be risk factors as well.
Infection with the bacteria Helicobacter bilis and Helicobacter hepaticus species can cause biliary cancer. The rare inherited disorders Lynch syndrome II and biliary papillomatosis have also been found to be associated with cholangiocarcinoma. West but common in parts of Asia, have been strongly associated with cholangiocarcinoma.