Penny Brohn UK

Help change life with cancer. For good

Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer

Bile Duct Cancer is a rare cancer that starts in the lining of the bile duct (a duct connecting your gallbladder and liver) which blocks the flow of bile from the liver to the bowel. Bile is produced by our livers to break down fats.

Symptoms of bile duct cancer include:

  • Jaundice (the skin and whites of eyes turning yellow).
  • Urine turning dark yellow.
  • Bowel motions looking pale.
  • Itchy skin.

Causes of most bile duct cancers:

These are unknown, but there are some factors that increase your risk of developing it:

  • Inflammatory conditions such as the inflammation of the bowel and a rare condition which causes inflammation of the bile ducts.
  • Abnormal bile ducts.
  • Chronic liver disease.
  • A parasite called liver fluke which is found in Africa and Asia.

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are all treatments for this cancer.

Gall bladder cancer

This is a rare cancer of the digestive system. The gall bladder is a small pouch that stores bile. A fluid that helps us digest food.

Most cancers of the gall bladder are only found at an advanced stage and usually during an operation to remove gallstones. But someone with this cancer might experience symptoms such as:

  • High temperatures.
  • Weight loss.
  • Pain in your abdomen.

It’s not widely known what causes gall bladder cancer but there are factors that can increase the risk, such as:

  • Age.
  • Gallstones and inflammation.
  • Polyps.

The treatment you have depends on your general health, the position of the cancer, and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be used to treat gall bladder cancers.

Dave came to Penny Brohn UK after a second tumour was found in his bile duct. At first he was sceptical but soon after arriving at our National Centre he experienced the uplifting and positive effect of the services and people here. Read more about Dave’s experience at Penny Brohn.


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