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The abnormal growth of the cells may appear at anyplace in the body including our digestive system. Apart from the liver andgallbladder, the bile ducts that connect these two organs may also be affected bythis abnormal cell growth. The tumors of the bile ducts are a very rarecondition, but when they appear, they represent a serious problem. These tumorsare very small so that even common imaging studies like ultrasonography and CTscanning are not able to detect them sometimes. Magnetic resonance cholangiography, as well as endoscopicapproach, are necessary for defining the anatomy of the bile ducts and theextent of the biliary obstruction.

The bile duct tumors are very rare and it isestimate that they make up 2% of all diagnosed cancers. Benign bile duct tumorsare considerably rare conditions as compared to the malign bile duct tumors. Itis also observed that the benign adenomas or papillomas tend to recur once theyare removed in a surgery, and that they tend to become malignant over time. The main symptom of the benign bile duct tumors isjaundice, but the occult gastrointestinal hemorrhage may also happen.

Etiology of benign bile duct tumors

There are people with certain conditions who are athigher risk to develop the bile duct tumors. The people who suffer fromcongenital hepatic fibrosis and Caroli disease, as well as from Von Meyenburgcomplexes, are more prone to develop benign bile duct tumors. Furthermore, the people with polycystic liver,choledochal cysts, gallstones and hepatolithiasis are also considered to be athigh risk to experience the benign bile duct tumor symptoms. It is also observed that the people who suffer fromprimary sclerosing cholangitis and those who suffer from ulcerative colitis arealso prone to develop the tumor in question. Some other potential triggers for the occurrence ofbile duct tumors are certain drugs, birth control pills, toxins and carcinogenslike arsenic and dioxin.

Symptoms of benign bile duct tumors

In most cases, the benign bile duct tumors occur inthe elderly population, particularly people above 60 years of age. When one develops this bile duct disorder, the firstsign is jaundice, which is usually followed by pruritis. However, if only one bile duct isaffected, the jaundice may be delayed since the liver can compensate.

Some people with this condition may experience mildepigastric pain, while diarrhea, loss of the body weight and anorexia are quitecommon symptoms of the bile duct tumors. Other potential symptoms are enlarged liver anddistended gallbladder.

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