Bile duct cancer is an extremely serious condition. Because of this simple fact, it’s natural that someone would want to learn everything they possibly can about this type of cancer. As with all forms of cancer, one of the first questions a person is bound to ask is going to concern the life expectancy of someone who has received a diagnosis.
This is a good question to ask, but it’s not the only question that should be asked. In order to fully grasp the life expectancy question, you should first familiarize yourself with the essential pieces of information that concern this unfortunate disease.
Bile Duct Cancer and Life Expectancy
Bile duct cancer is a complex disease, but there are some basic facts that can serve to create a general understanding:
1. Bile duct cancer concerns the cells that are found along the drainage system for bile from your liver and gallbladder to your small intestine. This bile aids in the digestion of food.
2. Bile duct cancer is quite rare, as there less than three thousand new cases reported each year. Nonetheless, it is considered to be a very serious disease.
3. This type of cancer can occur within the liver, just outside of the liver, or even far away from the liver.
4. The potential for bile duct cancer increases as a person gets older.
5. Treatment and surgery options are dependent upon where the cancer is located.
A number of factors influence the question of bile duct cancer and life expectancy. Where the tumor itself is found is a huge contributing factor to how long a person with bile duct cancer can expect to live. The degree to which the tumor has spread can also be a strong influence on life expectancy. The general health of the individual is yet another factor that will contribute to how long a person with bile cancer will live.
Unfortunately, the overall prognosis for bile duct cancer is not particularly encouraging. Someone who has bile duct cancer within their liver has a five-year-survival rate of just fifteen percent at stage one. If the cancer spreads further and the individual moves on to the further stages, this number drops even further.
Those who have bile duct cancer outside the liver have slightly better chances. A stage 1 patient has a five-year-survival rate of thirty percent. This drops to twenty-four percent for stage 2 and stage 3. At stage four, the survival rate is only two percent.
Early detection is essential.