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Forum Name: Liver Cancer

Question: Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer)

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 KarenZee - Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:38 am

My 79yo mother was diagnosed with Bile Duct CA in the common BD just after Christmas. She was very sick with jaundice about 1 month prior.

What is the prognosis for this type of cancer? A stent was placed to drain the bile and she is feeling stronger. Radiation started 2 wwks ago, and a low dose of chemotherapy (5-FU) started last Fri for once a wk.

I realize that these treatments are palliative in nature and I want my momther to be as comfortable as possible. What I don't know is how long she would be expected to live. Also, I am concerned that at some time these treatments will become worse than the disease itself.

If anyone has had experience with Colangiocarcinoma I would appreciate your insight. Thank you.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:40 pm

User avatar Hello,

Sorry for the delay in responding to your post.

Prognosis and survival depends on the tumor extent and the general condition of the patient which permit surgical resection and or chemoradiotherapy.

When the tumor can be resected completely, patients may achieve long-term survival with a 5-year survival rate up to 40%. The median survival duration of 17-27.5 months can be reached.

A median survival duration of 7-17 mo can be achieved when resection is done with no further chemo radiation.

The poorest prognosis is when patients have unresectable disease and can not tolerate chemotherapy or radiation therapy
(tolerate only palliative stent placement).

Hope this information is useful.
Best regards.
 KarenZee - Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:55 pm

Dear Dr. Mahmoud:

Thank you for your reply. My mother has made it to 14 months post diagnosis and is still fighting. She has wonderful medical support from the cancer center where she receives treatment and the VNA hospice team who visit her at home.

She had radiation and 5 FU as I mentioned. She has had several rounds of Gemzar and continues to have low dose treatments every other week as long as she can tolorate it, which she does pretty well. She had several set backs along the way... a fractured pelvis due to a fall and GI Bleeds, which postponed treatment.

Initially, my mother was extremely ill and it was felt that she couldn't tolarate resection surgery. After radiation and 5 FU she consulted with a surgeon who felt surgery was not a good option for her as they don't know the extent of the tumors and fear that they are probably elsewhere besides the bile duct. She has a pacemaker so an MRI was not done so better pictures were not available.

She has been such a strong person through all of this. In spite of all she has gone through, she remains in good spirits thinking more about everyone else than herself.

We are grateful to have her with us still and cherish every day with her.

 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:31 am

User avatar Hello,

Thank you for keeping us updated. I am pleased to hear that she is receiving the best care for her condition and is doing well despite the difficult conditions she passed through her illness.

It is so brave of her to keep herself in a good spirit and to continue thinking about everyone. It is obvious that she is a very special person and I wish her and you best of luck.

Thank you again for updating us.
Best wishes.
 KarenZee - Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:49 am

Dr. Mahmoud:

You are very kind. Thank you for your very thoughtful words.

 jockdoc - Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:24 pm

My mother in law has recently been diagnsed with a liver tumor. She has had RA for many years and her immune system is very week due to the RA drugs. The pyhsicians have recently placed a drain in and are preparing to put in a stint. THey have told her she is not physically strong enough to stand surgery, chemo, or radiation....they are going to try a radioactive bullet...what other options are out there?

THank you!

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