Symptoms of bile duct cancer

Bile duct cancer does not usually cause any symptoms until the flow of bile from the liver is blocked.

In most cases, the condition is at an advanced stage by this time.

The blockage will cause bile to move back into the blood and body tissue, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • jaundice – yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • clay-coloured stools (faeces)
  • dark-coloured urine
  • itchy skin
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • abdominal pain – most people feel a dull ache in the upper right hand side of their abdomen (tummy)
  • high temperature (fever) of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above
  • chills
  • night sweats

When to seek medical advice

Always visit your GP if you have jaundice. While jaundice is unlikely to be caused by bile duct cancer, it could indicate that there is an underlying problem with the liver, such as hepatitis.

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