What is liver disease? What is pancreatic cancer? What are liver tumors

How do I get treatment?

For further information and appointments please see the below contact numbers:

For Mr Rob Hutchins: 

020 7234 2940

For the following Consultants: 

020 7234 2730

Professor Nigel Heaton
Professor Mohamed Rela
Mr Parthi Srinivasan
Mr Andreas A. Prachalias
Dr Phil M. Harrison
Dr Kosh Agarwal and 
Dr Michael Heneghan

Bile Duct Cancer Diagnosis, London

Symptoms of Bile Duct Cancer

Bile duct cancer can be a 'silent disease' and symptoms may not occur, they may be vague and non specific varying in intensity and in length of duration they can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Clay-coloured stools
  • Dark urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (may be associated with shivering and fevers)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe itching
  • Weight loss

Although these symptoms often aren't related to cancer, they may indicate other conditions that require medical care.

The tumours at the junction of the right and left ducts are referred to as Klatskin tumours or hilar cholangiocarcinoma. Cholangiocarcinomas may form a mass, or grow in an infiltrative manner around the bile duct. Bile duct tumours spread to the lymph glands (nodes) in the vicinity, and also along the inner lining of the bile duct and along the nearby nerves.

Untreated, most patients with bile duct cancer unfortunately die within 6 months to a year of diagnosis from a combination of local tumour spread and cholangitis (infection in the bile ducts). Direct spread to the liver is the rule. In rare cases, distant spread occurs to bone and lymph nodes further away.

Gallbladder cancer spreads to the lymph nodes as well as the neighbouring liver and other structures nearby such as the large and small bowels. It can also present with widespread disease not amenable to surgical removal.

The differential diagnosis for cholangiocarcinoma includes malignancy of the pancreatic head and duodenum, chronic pancreatitis or stones in the common bile duct. Some gallbladders removed for supposedly simple stone disease turn out to harbour cancerous growths.