Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Bile duct cancer is a malignancy that arises in the cells that line the bile duct, the drainage system for the liver. Bile duct cancer is medically known as cholangiocarcinoma. This is a rare, slow-growing cancer that increases in frequency with increasing age.

Signs and symptoms of bile duct cancer may not appear in the early stages. In later stages, associated symptoms and signs can include yellow coloring of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), abdominal pain, weight loss, and itching. Other signs and symptoms can include dark urine, bloating, fever, and abdominal tenderness.

Cause of bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)

Doctors do not fully understand the cause of cholangiocarcinoma, but conditions that cause chronic inflammation of the bile ducts (such as chronic liver disease, chronic hepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, cirrhosis, and others) increase a person's risk for developing bile duct cancer.

Other bile duct cancer symptoms and signs


Skin Cancer Symptoms, Types, Images See Slideshow

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Cancer Report Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.