Bile duct cancer

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If bile duct cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the bile duct to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If bile duct cancer spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • liver
  • nearby lymph nodes (regional lymph nodes)
  • gallbladder
  • pancreas
  • first part of the small intestine (duodenum)
  • other structures in the abdomen, such as the peritoneum
  • lymph nodes far from the bile ducts

Bile duct cancer can sometimes spread to the bones, brain or lungs, but that is uncommon.

peritoneum

The membrane that lines the walls of the abdomen and pelvis (parietal peritoneum), and covers and supports most of the abdominal organs (visceral peritoneum).

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Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

Learn more