1. Find the Right Team
If you have been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, the single most important thing you can do is to see an oncologist and surgeon who specialize in your specific type of cancer. They should have experience treating many other patients like you, they should be involved in ongoing research and they should have clinical trials available for you. When it comes to treating cancer, expertise can mean the difference between life and death.
2. Get the Right Tests & Find the Right Treatment
Ask your doctor about biomarker testing (molecular profiling).
Biomarker testing scans the DNA of your cancer cells for cancer-causing genetic mutations and other molecular abnormalities. This information can be used to match some patients to the most effective treatment available, whether it’s an existing drug or one under study in a clinical trial.
While comprehensive biomarker testing is not yet routine, it is covered for all Medicare patients with advanced solid tumors. It is also increasingly offered at academic medical centers — another reason why going to a major center is important — and is frequently part of clinical trial protocols.
Most cancers, when first diagnosed, have a standard of care: a treatment regimen that is widely accepted as the best approach to fighting the disease. The standard of care for cholangiocarcinoma can be found by looking at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, which are based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence.
3. Share Your Data
You have the option to share your health data, including biomarker testing data and other health information, with the research community. Gathering and analyzing patient data can help researchers generate new discoveries and treatments that could directly impact your care and improve the lives of future generations. Please consider sharing your data.
5. Other Helpful Resources
Download our free e-book, 100 Questions & Answers About Cholangiocarcinoma, Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancers by Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa & Dr. Eileen M. O’Reilly
Fill out and print our Biliary Emergency Information Card to assist any medical personnel that may be treating you.