Pin Me

Extrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer Symptoms and Prognosis

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Emma Lloyd • updated: 9/23/2010

Are you looking for more information on extrahepatic bile duct cancer symptoms? If so, read on to learn what these are.

  • slide 1 of 6

    Extrahepatic bile duct cancer symptoms will vary in severity and frequency depending on the patient. This cancer is rare and occurs when cancerous cells invade the extrahepatic bile duct tissues. Every years, about 2,000 to 3,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer.

  • slide 2 of 6

    Cellular Classification of this Cancer

    The most common types of this cancer are referred to as adenocarcinomas. The following are the histologic types:

    • Carcinoma in situ
    • Adenocarcinoma, not otherwise specified
    • Mucinous adenocarcinoma
    • Signet-ring cell carcinoma
    • Squamous cell carcinoma
    • Undifferentiated carcinoma (small cell types, giant and spindle cell types)
    • Papillary carcinoma, noninvasive
    • Carcinoma NOS
    • Adenocarcinoma, intestinal types
    • Clear cell carcinoma
    • Adenosquamous carcinoma
    • Oat cell (small cell) carcinoma
    • Papillomatosis
    • Papillary carcinoma, invasive

    Malignant mesenchymal tumors are rare. They include:

    • Leiomyosarcoma
    • Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma
    • Malignant fibrous histiocytoma
  • slide 3 of 6

    Risk Factors

    Certain conditions can put a patient at a higher risk of developing this cancer. Having these risk factors does not mean the patient will definitely get this cancer, but it does increase their chances. Such conditions include:

    • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
    • Choledochal cysts
    • Chronic ulcerative colitis
    • Chinese liver fluke parasitic infection

    Other possible risk factors also exist. These include:

    • Congenital hepatic fibrosis
    • Polycystic liver
    • Cystic dilatation
    • Von Meyenburg complexes
    • Hepatolithiasis and gallstones
    • Toxic metals, such as radinonuclides, thorium dioxide, and carcinogens
    • Drugs, such as methyldopa, oral contraceptives, and isoniazid
    • Biliary cirrhosis
    • Chronic typhoid carriers
  • slide 4 of 6


    Extrahepatic bile duct cancer symptoms are not exclusive symptoms and could indicate a variety of diseases and conditions, so if they occur, further investigation is warranted. These symptoms include:

    • Jaundice
    • Fever
    • Abdominal pain
    • Itchy skin
    • Diarrhea
    • Weight loss
    • Loss of appetite
  • slide 5 of 6

    Statistics and Prognosis

    These tumors only make up two percent of all of the cancers discovered at autopsy. In the United States, approximately one per 100,000 people are affected by a bile duct cancer. This type of cancer is more often seen in Japan, Israel, and American Indians, than it is in those in the United States.

    It is estimated that the five-year survival rate is between 20 and 30 percent. However, this does not reflect the cure rate which is thought to be much lower.

    In a study conducted by Jang, J, MD, et al the following statistics were determined. Among patients treated with resection, operative mortality rare was 3.3 percent. The one-year survival rate was 55.5 percent, the three-year survival rate was 22.9 percent, and the five-year survival rate was 17.6 percent. 151 patients who had resection in this study and 49 of these patients were alive after five years and 42 were free of cancer at the five-year mark. Of all of the patients who did not have a resection, none were alive at the five-year mark.

  • slide 6 of 6


    The Cleveland Clinic. (2010). Extrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer. Retrieved on September 12, 2010 from The Cleveland Clinic:

    University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. (2010). Extrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer. Retrieved on September 12, 2010 from the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center:

    Jang, J. MD. (2006). Actual Long-Term Outcome of Extrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer After Surgical Resection. Retrieved on September 12, 2010 from PubMed: