Biliary Tract & Gallbladder

Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) occurs when cells within bile ducts grow without order or control. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver to help in fat digestion. Bile drains from the liver via multiple bile ducts which coalesce into the main duct (common hepatic duct). The gallbladder connects to the common hepatic duct via the cystic duct which then drains into the common bile duct and duodenum (first part of small intestine).Bile duct cancer is divided into 3 types based on the location of the tumor:

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located below the liver in the upper right side of the abdomen. The function of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate bile, which is a liquid produced by the liver to help in fat digestion. Bile drains from the liver via multiple bile ducts which coalesce into the main duct (common hepatic duct). The gallbladder connects to the common hepatic duct via the cystic duct which then drains into the common bile duct and duodenum (first part of small intestine).Gallbladder cancer occurs when cells within the gallbladder grow without order or control. This malignant growth has the potential to increase in size, invade surrounding structures and spread to other parts of the body. The most common type of gallbladder cancer is adenocarcinoma.

Causes:

Bile duct cancersBile is a yellow-green fluid that is made in the liver and the stored in the gallbladder, a pear-shaped pouch that lies beneath the stomach. During mealtimes, the gallbladder contracts and releases a concentrated form of bile in the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) to aid in the digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.