An oncologist may recommend radiation therapy as a treatment for bile duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma, depending on the details of a patient’s diagnosis. Cancer-destroying beams of radiation can be aimed a tumor from a machine outside the body (external beam radiation therapy) or inserted near the tumor and removed after treatment is finished (brachytherapy). The radiation damages the genetic coding of the cells it impacts, causing the cells to stop multiplying and eventually die off.
Radiation therapy for bile duct cancer can be given to:
- Shrink a tumor before it is removed
- Reduce the risk of the cancer coming back after surgery
- Alleviate symptoms caused by a tumor that cannot be surgically removed
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we take a unique approach to radiation therapy. After a comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s needs, a team of radiation oncologists, dosimetrists and medical physicists tailor the intensity of the treatment and the schedule at which the radiation therapy is administered. This team will also develop a plan to shield as many healthy tissues surrounding the tumor as possible, in turn minimizing any side effects. For instance, we use state-of-the-art equipment to plan for the natural movement of internal organs during treatment, adjusting the path of the radiation to help limit exposure to the stomach, intestines, liver and other nearby organs.
After determining which of our advanced technologies will produce the best outcome and highest quality of life, our team will expertly plan, simulate and provide the treatment over a period of several weeks or months. Because we have a highly skilled team of specialists who exclusively treat gastrointestinal cancers such as cholangiocarcinoma, patients who come to Moffitt are able to obtain the maximum benefits from our tools and equipment. A comprehensive range of supportive care services are also available in the same, convenient location to assist with any side effects that arise.