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Have blocked bile duct. Scan could not found gall bladder. What is the possibility of having cancer?

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Posted on Tue, 7 Aug 2012
Question: I have been in and out of hospital several times in the last 3 months on all scans no gall bladder can be found ,I have a blocked bile duct and I have had 2 e.r.c.p. And I have to have more could this be cancer of the bile duct
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (1 hour later)
Hello,

I am sorry that you are unwell.

Bile is a liquid that is released from the liver. It contains bile salts, cholesterol and waste products such as bilirubin, the bile salts help your body to breakdown fats.

The possible cause of a blocked bile duct includes:
(1) Cysts of common bile duct
(2) Enlarged lymph nodes of part of the liver
(3) Gallstones - you however stated no gall bladder was seen in your investigation
(4) Inflammation of the bile duct resulting in a stricture
(5) Tumors of the bile duct or pancreas
(6) Other tumors that may have spread to involve the biliary system
(7) Infections

So essentially cancer of the bile is one of the causes of a blocked bile duct; but there are also numerous other causes.

You have already had two ERCP which can be used to both diagnose and treat diseases. It can usually identify the exact cause of the blockage. Discuss with your treating doctor and you can learn about the cause of blockage in your case

In terms of treatment an ERCP can be used to dilate strictures, insert stents or remove stones.

I hope this answers your question. Let me know if you have any other queries.

Thank you and I wish you the best.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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Have blocked bile duct. Scan could not found gall bladder. What is the possibility of having cancer?

Hello,

I am sorry that you are unwell.

Bile is a liquid that is released from the liver. It contains bile salts, cholesterol and waste products such as bilirubin, the bile salts help your body to breakdown fats.

The possible cause of a blocked bile duct includes:
(1) Cysts of common bile duct
(2) Enlarged lymph nodes of part of the liver
(3) Gallstones - you however stated no gall bladder was seen in your investigation
(4) Inflammation of the bile duct resulting in a stricture
(5) Tumors of the bile duct or pancreas
(6) Other tumors that may have spread to involve the biliary system
(7) Infections

So essentially cancer of the bile is one of the causes of a blocked bile duct; but there are also numerous other causes.

You have already had two ERCP which can be used to both diagnose and treat diseases. It can usually identify the exact cause of the blockage. Discuss with your treating doctor and you can learn about the cause of blockage in your case

In terms of treatment an ERCP can be used to dilate strictures, insert stents or remove stones.

I hope this answers your question. Let me know if you have any other queries.

Thank you and I wish you the best.