Tests and next steps
You will need more tests and scans to check for bile duct cancer if the GP refers you to a specialist.
These tests can include:
- blood tests
- scans, like an ultrasound scan (sometimes from inside your body using an endoscope), CT scan, or MRI scan
- collecting a small sample of cells from the bile ducts (called a biopsy) to be checked for cancer
- a test called an ERCP – find out more about ERCP from Cancer Research UK
- a special kind of X-ray called PTC – find out more about PTC from Cancer Research UK
You may not have all these tests.
These tests can also help find problems in other nearby organs. Such as your pancreas, gallbladder or liver.
Getting your results
It can take several weeks to get the results of your tests.
Try not to worry if your results are taking a long time to get to you. It does not definitely mean anything is wrong.
You can call the hospital or GP if you are worried. They should be able to update you.
A specialist will explain what the results mean and what will happen next. You may want to bring someone with you for support.
If you're told you have bile duct cancer
Being told you have bile duct cancer can feel overwhelming. You may be feeling anxious about what will happen next.
It can help to bring someone with you to any appointments you have.
A group of specialists will look after you throughout your diagnosis, treatment and beyond.
Your team will include a clinical nurse specialist who will be your main point of contact during and after treatment.
You can ask them any questions you have.
Macmillan Cancer Support has a free helpline that's open every day from 8am to 8pm.
They're there to listen if you have anything you want to talk about.
If you’ve been told you have bile duct cancer, you may need more tests.
These, along with the tests you've had already, will help the specialists find out the size of the cancer and how far it's spread (called the stage).
Find out more about what cancer stages and grades mean.
You may need:
- a PET scan, sometimes with a CT scan (PET-CT)
- a small operation to look inside your tummy, called a laparoscopy
The specialists will use the results of these tests and work with you to decide on the best treatment plan for you.