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Hepatobiliary Cancers Resources
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Hepatobiliary Cancers

Hepatobiliary Cancers

The hepatobiliary system is involved in digestion and includes the liver, bile ducts, pancreas and gall bladder. Hepatobiliary cancer, which is uncommon, can include cancer in any of these areas.

What are the symptoms of hepatobiliary cancers?
There may be none initially, and other symptoms are vague and easily attributable to other causes. Pain or a mass in the abdomen, jaundice, loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss and a change in bowel movements may develop.

How are hepatobiliary cancers diagnosed?
For those with cirrhosis, who are known to be at a higher risk, screening may be done via ultrasound imaging or a blood test. For others with suspected hepatobiliary cancer, various kinds of imaging may be performed.

What are the treatments for hepatobiliary cancers?
This varies according to the exact location and size of the tumor and how advanced it is, and the health of the patient. If the tumor is in the gallbladder, the entire gallbladder can be removed. For liver cancer, part of the liver may be removed. A liver transplant, chemotherapy and radiation are possibilities.

What are the risk factors for hepatobiliary cancers?
Having certain forms of hepatitis is a risk, as is hereditary hemochromatosis, in which too much iron is absorbed and stored in the liver. Heavy alcohol consumption, smoking obesity, Type 2 diabetes and use of anabolic steroids are all risks. Exposure to certain toxins, including arsenic, is another risk. Liver cancer risks rise with unsafe behaviors such as IV drug use with dirty needles, or unprotected sex with someone with hepatitis.

What are some additional resources for learning about hepatobiliary cancers?
If you or your loved one is facing hepatobiliary cancers CalvertHealth has a whole range of services designed to help you so you never take this journey alone. Please talk to your CalvertHealth provider or your Nurse Navigator, or check the service pages for information about treatments, services and support groups.