10 Symptoms of bile duct cancer You Should Never Ignore

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10 Symptoms of bile duct cancer You Should Never Ignore

Bile duct cancer, also known as cholangiocarcinoma, is a rare and aggressive type of cancer that affects the bile ducts. The bile ducts are small tubes that carry bile from the liver to the small intestine. Bile duct cancer can be difficult to diagnose and treat, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms.

In this article, we will discuss the common symptoms of bile duct cancer. Early detection and treatment are key to improving the chances of survival, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this disease.

Jaundice

One of the most common symptoms of bile duct cancer is jaundice. Jaundice is a condition that causes the skin and eyes to turn yellow due to a build-up of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is normally processed by the liver and excreted in the bile. When the bile ducts are blocked by cancer, bilirubin can build up in the blood and lead to jaundice.

In addition to yellowing of the skin and eyes, other symptoms of jaundice may include dark urine, pale stools, and itching. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor for further evaluation.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is another common symptom of bile duct cancer. This pain may be located in the upper right side of the abdomen, where the liver and bile ducts are located. The pain may be dull and achy or sharp and stabbing, and it may come and go or be constant.

In some cases, the pain may be accompanied by bloating, nausea, and vomiting. If you experience persistent or severe abdominal pain, it’s important to seek medical attention to rule out any serious underlying conditions, such as bile duct cancer.

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Unexplained Weight Loss

Unexplained weight loss is a common symptom of many types of cancer, including bile duct cancer. When cancer cells grow and spread, they can use up a lot of the body’s energy, leading to unintended weight loss. In addition, bile duct cancer can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, which can also contribute to weight loss.

If you have lost a significant amount of weight without trying, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause. Unexplained weight loss can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, so it should not be ignored.

Fever and Chills

Fever and chills are common symptoms of many infections, including those that can occur when the bile ducts become blocked by cancer. When the bile ducts are blocked, it can lead to a build-up of bacteria in the bile, which can cause infections and lead to fever and chills.

In some cases, these symptoms may also be accompanied by night sweats, fatigue, and a general feeling of being unwell. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

New Onset Diabetes

Some people with bile duct cancer may develop new onset diabetes as a result of the cancer affecting the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach that produces insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. When the pancreas is affected by cancer, it can lead to a disruption of insulin production and cause diabetes to develop.

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If you have been diagnosed with diabetes for the first time and have no other risk factors for the disease, it’s important to speak with a doctor about the possibility of an underlying condition, such as bile duct cancer.

Fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom of many types of cancer, including bile duct cancer. When the body is fighting off cancer cells, it can use up a lot of energy, leading to feelings of exhaustion and weakness. In addition, the cancer itself can cause changes in the body’s metabolism that can contribute to fatigue.

If you experience persistent fatigue that does not improve with rest, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause. Fatigue can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, so it should not be ignored.

Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite is another common symptom of bile duct cancer. When the bile ducts become blocked by cancer, it can interfere with the body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. This can lead to a reduced appetite and unintended weight loss.

If you experience a persistent loss of appetite that does not improve with time, it’s important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause. Loss of appetite can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, such as bile duct cancer, so it should not be ignored.

Itchy Skin

Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, is a common symptom of bile duct cancer. When the bile ducts become blocked by cancer, it can lead to a build-up of bile salts in the blood, which can cause the skin to become itchy. This itching may be mild or severe and can occur all over the body.

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If you experience persistent itching that does not improve with over-the-counter treatments, it’s important to see a doctor for further evaluation. Itchy skin can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, so it should not be ignored.

Pale Stools

Pale stools can be a sign of a blockage in the bile ducts, which can occur as a result of bile duct cancer. When the bile ducts are blocked, it can interfere with the body’s ability to digest fats, leading to pale or clay-colored stools.

If you notice a persistent change in the color of your stools, it’s important to see a doctor for further evaluation. Pale stools can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, such as bile duct cancer, so it should not be ignored.

Conclusion

It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of bile duct cancer, as early detection and treatment can improve the chances of survival. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, it’s important to see a doctor for further evaluation. While these symptoms can be caused by other, less serious conditions, it’s better to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention to rule out any serious underlying conditions.

Remember, early detection and treatment are key to improving the chances of survival for bile duct cancer, so don’t ignore any concerning symptoms. Your doctor can work with you to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.