Bile ducts carry a liquid called bile, which is used to aid digestion, from the liver where it is made to the intestine. The gallbladder is a place where bile is stored and is located between the liver and intestine. Cancers of the gallbladder and bile duct are typically primary cancers. Unlike the liver, it's not common to have metastasis or secondary cancer going from somewhere else to the gallbladder or bile duct.
Learn more about the malignant conditions we treat at MedStar Health:
Gallbladder cancer is rare and may not cause symptoms. It is treated based on its stage and the options include surgery to remove the gallbladder, the adjacent liver, and the nearby lymph nodes, chemotherapy, and radiation. Learn more.
Extrahepatic, Hilar, and Distal Cholangiocarcinoma
Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma describes bile duct cancer with tumors outside but very close to the liver. When it occurs in the bile duct just outside of the liver, it is called hilar cholangiocarcinoma. When it occurs further down the bile duct near the bowel, it is called distal cholangiocarcinoma. The treatment options depend on the stage and location and include surgical removal, chemotherapy, radiation, and, in a small group of patients, liver transplantation.