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What is the prognosis for biliary cancer?

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Quick Answer

The prognosis for biliary cancer depends on a variety of factors, such as location, stage and the patient's overall health, according to the National Cancer Institute. For example, the five-year survival rate for stage 1 gallbladder cancer is 50 percent, while the five-year survival rate for regional intrahepatic bile duct cancer is 6 percent, notes the American Cancer Society and Cancer.Net, respectively. Biliary cancer is cancer that affects the biliary system, which includes the gallbladder and bile ducts, states MedicineNet.

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Full Answer

The prognosis of the cancer patients is typically reported as five-year survival rates based on stage at the time of diagnosis, notes the American Cancer Society. Cancers that recur or spread are referred to using the stage from the first diagnosis. Some five-year survival rates for gallbladder cancer include 80 percent for stage 0, 28 percent for stage 2, 8 percent for 3A and 2 percent for stage 4B.

Bile duct cancers are divided into two main subgroups: extrahepatic and intrahepatic, notes Cancer.Net. The five-year survival rates for extrahepatic bile duct cancer are generally higher than intrahepatic cancer. For example, early-stage extrahepatic bile duct cancer has a survival rate of 30 percent, while early intrahepatic bile duct cancer has a survival rate of 24 percent. The survival rate for the distant stage of both types is 2 percent.

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