Liver, Pancreas and Biliary Cancer

Liver cancer is a cancer that starts in the liver. It is sometimes called primary liver cancer. A cancer that starts somewhere else in the body and spreads to the liver is called secondary cancer in the liver. Around 5,400 people in the UK are diagnosed with primary liver cancer each year.

Bile duct (bilary) cancer is a rare cancer that starts in the lining of the bile duct. The bile ducts are part of the digestive system. They are the tubes that connect the liver and gall bladder to the small bowel. Cancer in the bile ducts can block the flow of bile from the liver to the bowel. This means that the bile flows back into the blood and body tissues.

Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the pancreas, an organ near the stomach. It makes digestive juices and various hormones, including insulin. About 9,600 people are diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas in the UK each year.

For pancreatic, liver and bilary cancer your treatment will be planned by a team of specialists called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). Your cancer doctor or specialist nurse will explain the different treatments and their side effects. If two treatments are likely to be equally helpful, your doctor may ask you to decide which one to have. They will also talk to you about certain things to think about when making treatment decisions.

For further information please phone the Macmillan Upper GI Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist on 028 9442 4620.

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