The most appropriate treatment option will depend on several factors, including the severity of the condition, the size and appearance of the cancerous cells, the stage and spread of the cancer, and the patients’ overall health. Treatment options include the following:
- Surgery is the main treatment for bile duct cancer.
- Surgery to remove the tumor is an effective standard treatment that increases the patient’s survival rate.
- If during the surgery to remove the tumor, the surgeons discover that the cancer has spread to such an extent that it cannot be removed, the surgeons will provide palliative therapy by draining bile to relieve the patient’s itchy skin and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
- ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) is a non-invasive means of diagnosing and treating the cancer which can be used if for any reason the patient cannot undergo surgery to remove the tumor.
- Chemotherapy/radiotherapy is used if the cancer cannot be completely removed or after the surgery has been performed so as to increase the chance of a complete cure.