Bile Duct cancer Sign and Symptoms

Learn all about bile duct cancer sign and symptoms!

Bile duct cancer is also referred as cholangiocarcinoma.It originates in the slenderical tubes or bile ducts that carry digestive fluid through your liver. The bile ducts may become involved either with cancer developing within the ducts themselves or with cancer in adjacent structures.The earliest significant symptom is usually jaundice (manifested by a yellowing of the whites of the eyes and of the skin), which results from continuous or intermittent obstruction to the flow of the bile.

The surgical treatment of cancer in this location is difficult partly because there is no alternate route for the flow of bile and partly because the cancer is usually quite well advanced before the diagnosis is established.Bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma is common in people older than age  50.Some early features of bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma are intense itchiness of skin,yellow discoloration of skin under eyes (Jaundice) and white colored  stool.Bile duct cancer is an aggressive type of cancer that is very difficult to treat after getting mature.

Major Sign and Symptoms of Bile Duct cancer


jaundice is yellow discoloration of the skin especially under eyes due to formation of substance termed as bilirubin.Jaundice is cardinal feature of bile duct cancer.Jaundice occurs when the liver cannot transport bile through bile duct.However, it is important to realize that in most cases cancer does not cause jaundice.

Weight loss

Bile duct cancer causes loss of apetite due to which people may not feel hungry and may lose weight without dieting.

Abdominal pain

Initially bile duct cancer dies not cause pain but when it gets mature it puts pressure on adjacent tissues due to which patient may feel abdominal pain in affected area.

Urine discoloration

Urine discoloration is very important sign in the identification of bile duct problem that may simple jaundice, bile duct blockage or bile duct cancer.When level of bilirubin in blood  increases up-to many folds then these bilirubins turns the urine dark brown color.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are primary features of malignant cancers but it does not mean cancer is the only cause of nausea and vomiting.


Fever is note early feature of bile duct cancer.When bilirubin level increases up-to many folds then the patient feels increase in body temperature characterized by burning of hands and feet.


  1. Pradeep

    Is every bile duct tumour is cancer?

    • Adnan Malik

      No, not all bile duct tumours are cancerous. Check for high blood levels of the CEA and CA 19-9 tumor markers. High amounts of these substances mean that cancer is present.

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