By Imperial medical students Thomas Hughes and Thomas O’Connor
Today, 17th February 2016, marks the first ever World Cholangiocarcinoma Day.
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a primary liver cancer, usually formed from glandular structures in the epithelial tissue (adenocarcinomatous). It occurs in the bile ducts and is classed as being either intra-hepatic (IHCC) or extra-hepatic (EHCC) depending on whether the tumour forms inside or outside of the liver.
CCA is the second most common form of primary hepatic malignancies in the world, with survival beyond a year of diagnosis being <5%. It represents 30% of primary hepatic malignancies with a mean survival rate of 3-6 months after diagnosis, due mostly to the late presentation of symptoms which massively reduces treatment success rates.