GlossaryGallbladder: The pear-shaped organ that sits below the liver. Bile is concentrated and stored in the gallbladder.
Bile: A fluid made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile is excreted into the small intestine where it helps digest fat.
Biliary tract: Left, right and common hepatic, cystic, and common bile ducts.
Adenocarcinoma: A cancer that develops in glandular (fluid-producing) tissue, or the lining or inner surface of an organ. Most breast cancers are adenocarcinomas.
Papillary tumor: A tumor shaped like a small mushroom with its stem attached to the inner lining of the bladder.
Lymph nodes: Part of the lymphatic system; bean-shaped organs, found in the underarm, groin, neck, and abdomen, that act as filters for the lymph fluid as it passes through them.
Resection: Surgical removal of an organ or tissue.
Gallstone: A round, hard mass of cholesterol, bile, or calcium salts that is found in the gallbladder or a bile duct
Oncogenes: Genes present in normal cells that, upon exposure to cancer-inducing factors may lead to development of tumors.
Tumor Suppressor Gene: Genes in the body that can suppress or block the development of cancer.
Carcino embryonic Antigen Peptide-1: CAP-1. A protein that can stimulate an immune response to certain tumors.
Tumor marker: A substance detectable in the blood or urine that suggests the presence of cancer. Examples are alphafetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH).
Cholangiogram: Radiographic imaging of the bile ducts after the direct injection of radio-opaque dye.
Cholecystectomy: Surgical removal of the gallbladder.
Cholangitis: Inflammation of the biliary tract (bile ducts).
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography: ERCP. A procedure to x-ray the pancreatic duct, hepatic duct, common bile duct, duodenal papilla, and gallbladder. In this procedure, a thin, lighted tube (endoscope) is passed through the mouth and down into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A smaller tube (catheter) is then inserted through the endoscope into the bile and pancreatic ducts. A dye is injected through the catheter into the ducts, and an x-ray is taken.
Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangiography: A procedure to x-ray the hepatic and common bile ducts. A contrasting agent is injected into the liver or bile duct, and the ducts are then x-rayed to find the point of obstruction. Also called PTC.
Radiation therapy: Treatment that uses x-rays and other sources of radiation to kill cancer cells.
Chemotherapy: Treatment with anticancer drugs.
Radiosensitizers: Drugs that make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation.
Palliative Therapy: Treatment given to relieve symptoms caused by advanced cancer. Palliative therapy does not alter the course of a disease but improves the quality of life.