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What causes bile duct cancer?

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A long-term inflammation makes you more likely to get this cancer. Some conditions that can bring this on include:

  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis: This inflammation of the bile duct leads to scarring. The cause isn’t known, but many people with it also have ulcerative colitis, an inflammation of the large intestine.
  • Bile duct stones: These are similar to gallstones, but much smaller.
  • Choledochal cysts: These are changes to cells in the linings of bile-filled sacs that connect to the bile duct. They often signal cancer.
  • Liver fluke infections: This problem is rare in the U.S. It’s more common in Asia and happens when people eat raw or poorly cooked fish that are infected with tiny parasitic worms called liver flukes. They can live in your bile ducts and cause cancer.
  • Reflux: When digestive juices from your pancreas flow back into the bile ducts, they can’t empty properly.
  • Cirrhosis: Alcohol and hepatitis can damage your liver and cause scar tissue to form, raising the risk of bile duct cancer.

From: What Is Bile Duct Cancer? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma),” “What is bile duct cancer?” “Signs and symptoms of bile duct cancer,” “How is bile duct cancer diagnosed?” “What should you ask your doctor about bile duct cancer?” “Surgery for bile duct cancer.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma).”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Can I Survive Bile Duct Cancer? What Is My Prognosis?”

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 13, 2017

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: “Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma),” “What is bile duct cancer?” “Signs and symptoms of bile duct cancer,” “How is bile duct cancer diagnosed?” “What should you ask your doctor about bile duct cancer?” “Surgery for bile duct cancer.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma).”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Can I Survive Bile Duct Cancer? What Is My Prognosis?”

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 13, 2017

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