Biliary Cancer

About the Condition

Cancer of the bile ducts is also known as biliary cancer, and affects the biliary system, which is made up of a series of tubes that begin in the liver and end in the small intestine, and are used to carry bile through the body to break down fatty foods. Biliary cancer occurs when the genetic material of cells in the bile ducts become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. The abnormal cells then replicate, causing cancer. If undetected, the cancer can spread beyond the biliary system and move to other parts of the body.

The precise causes of biliary cancer are not known, but there are various recognised risk factors, which you can read more about here.


Biliary cancer often doesn’t display any symptoms until it has progressed to a later stage, but the most common obvious symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • No appetite
  • Jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes
  • High temperatures
  • Weight loss
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Clay coloured stools

If any of these symptoms apply to you or if you have any concerns about similar symptoms, see your doctor. Alternatively you can book an appointment with one of our specialists by completing this form online or by calling 020 8247 3351.


The treatment of biliary cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, and treatment is tailored to each individual patient. At CCL, patients with biliary cancer are treated by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. This team creates a treatment plan to suit the individual needs of the patient.

Treatment options involve:

  • Surgery to remove the affected area
  • Radiotherapy, where high-energy rays are used to destroy the cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy, which involves the use of chemical agents which are toxic to cancer cells, destroying them and preventing them from spreading to different areas
  • Biotherapy, which is the use of newer and more targeted therapies to assist the body in fighting the disease

Support Services

At CCL we provide support that caters to both the physical and emotional needs of the patient, before, during and after treatment.

We offer a wide range of services for patients, as well as their loved ones, designed to make a very difficult time as easy as possible, and to give our patients the best treatment and support possible. Our support services include counselling, group sessions and much more. You can find the full range of our support services here. We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Book now

If you have any questions about biliary cancer or would like to book an appointment with one of our biliary cancer specialists, complete this form online or call 020 8247 3351.

Biliary Cancer Consultants


Cancer Centre London

Parkside Hospital

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