The bile ducts are a series of thin tubes that connect your liver to your gallbladder, your small intestine. Their major job is to move a fluid called bile from the liver and gallbladder into the small intestine where it helps digest fats in the food. Cancer of the bile duct, called cholangiocarcinoma, is an uncommon form of cancer that occurs mostly in people older than age of 50, but it can occur at any age.
Because the bile ducts are deep inside the body, small tumors can’t be seen or felt during routine physical exams, and there are no blood tests or other tests that can reliably screen for bile duct cancers. Because of this, most bile duct cancers are found only after the cancer has grown enough to cause signs or symptoms.
Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Dr. Bret Petersen discusses bile duct cancer on this segment of Mayo Clinic Radio.