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Diagnosed stage 4 bile duct cancer. What is the life span?

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After diagnosis of stage 4 bile duct cancer, how long does someone have left to live?
Posted Mon, 2 Jul 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 2 hours later

Thanks for writing in.

I can empathize with what you are feeling.

In medical literature we say prognosis in 5 yr survival rate. The 5yr survival rate of Stage IV bile duct cancer is less than 10%. Basically it carries a poor prognosis. If you take 100 people with stage IV bile duct cancer,only 10 or less than 10 out of 100 would live for another 5yrs.

You would get this kind of information anywhere on the net, but the truth is, nobody can give an exact time. Sometimes miracles happen and we live with hope. But the beauty of it ,is in living life to the fullest.

Don't be disheartened. Live life to the fullest.Do everything possible that you have always wanted to do, but never had the courage/ opportunity to do .Pray to GOD to help you.

I hope I have answered your question.Please feel free to ask any further queries you might have.
Have a great day
Dr.Divya Kuttikrishnan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed stage 4 bile duct cancer. What is the life span? 1 hour later
The question was for my sister in law and I wanted to get something a bit more pinned down. As you said, I could find that information on the net. She has stage four non operable bile duct cancer. We need someone with the courage to give us their best guess at how much longer she has so we can make our plans. I understand that this is just a guess but based on your experience how long do you think she has. If I had to guess and I'm not a doctor, i would say weeks rather than months. She started having signs in May they operated on XXXXXXX 4th and said it was stage 4. It has spread and there is no treatment available.
Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 9 hours later

If your sister-in-law is bedridden, lethargic, refusing to eat / drink, doesn't speak, has memory loss, vomiting, hematemesis (vomiting blood) I would say days to few weeks. In the absence of these, the duration maybe 3 months to one year. But then again miracles are known to happen where there is hope.

Since there is no curative treatment available for stage IV bile duct cancer, goal is to improve the quality of life and keep the pain away. This is achieved by palliative treatment. I am sure her oncologists are striving to keep her pain free.

Hope I was able to provide you with an useful answer this time around. Let me know if you need any other information.

Dr.Divya Kuttikrishnan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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