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What is the prognosis for bile duct cancer?

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Quick Answer

The prognosis for bile duct cancer depends on factors such as the stage, location, whether it has spread and whether the patient has other conditions, according to the National Cancer Institute. For example, as of 2015, localized extrahepatic bile duct cancer has a five-year survival rate of 30 percent, while distant intrahepatic bile duct cancer has a five-year survival rate of 2 percent, states the American Cancer Society. Bile duct cancer is one type of biliary cancer, notes MedicineNet.

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Full Answer

There are two main types of bile duct cancer, states the National Cancer Institute. Extrahepatic bile duct cancers occur in the distal and hilum regions of the bile ducts. Perihilar bile duct cancer occurs in the hilum region, which is the area that exists the liver. Distal extrahepatic bile duct cancer occurs in the distal region, which is the area that goes through the pancreas. The five-year survival rate of regional extrahepatic bile duct cancer is 24 percent and of distant cancer is 2 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

Intrahepatic bile duct cancers, also known as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas, occur in the liver's bile ducts. A small percentage of bile duct cancers are categorized as this, according to the National Cancer Institute. These cancers tend to have a worse prognosis when compared to extrahepatic bile duct cancers, notes the American Cancer Society. The five-year survival rate of localized tumors is 15 percent and of regional tumors is 6 percent.

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