Cholangiocarcinoma is a rare form of cancer that is known to afflict older people, especially after the 65-year mark. This is a disease that affects the tubes that are responsible for carrying bile throughout the digestive system. Bile is an essential fluid that is produced by the liver and then stored in the gallbladder. It is used to process fats and is vital to a well-functioning digestive system. When a cancerous growth develops in the ducts that carry bile, it could lead to an obstruction that can cause pain and jaundice-like symptoms. Unfortunately, these biliary tubes are vulnerable to malignancies throughout their length.
Depending on where the cancer is located, this disease can be categorized into 3 main types:
- Intrahepatic bile duct cancer– These growths occur in the portion that resides in the liver
- Perihilar bile duct cancer – Here the malignant growth is at the point where the tubes leave the liver
- Distal bile duct cancer – Malignancies that occur towards the lower end of the tubes, closer to the small intestines.
Symptoms of Cholangiocarcinoma:
- Excessive Itching
- Abdominal Pain
- Loss Of Appetite
- Drastic Drop In Weight
Risk Factors of Cholangiocarcinoma
- Stones in the bile ducts can trigger inflammation that has the potential to act as a precursor to cholangiocarcinoma, especially if it is left unchecked for too long
- In many Asian cultures, eating raw or undercooked seafood is common. This could cause liver infections that can increase your risk.
- Excessive alcohol consumption or diseases like Hepatitis A or B can lead to a scarred liver that also makes it easier for cancer cells to form.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis, which causes inflammation and the formation of scar tissue can increase the risk of carcinoma.
- Obesity paves the way for the formation of stones, therefore, increasing the probability of cancer.
Aside from the regular treatment methods that are recommended by doctors, it can be beneficial to explore some natural remedies that have the ability to augment the efficacy of the standard allopathic treatments. One such natural gift that has shown quite a lot of potential is curcumin, a phytochemical found in abundance in turmeric. Curcumin beholds numerous therapeutic qualities that make it a popular choice amongst naturopaths and Ayurvedic doctors when it comes to treating a variety of health conditions. In case of severe illnesses like bile duct cancer to curcumin has proven its mettle.
Here are some examples of the benefits that curcumin has in the case of cholangiocarcinoma:
- Once cancer cells develop in the body, they tend to thrive because there is a class of enzymes that promote cancer cell survival by deactivating those pathways that are meant to induce apoptosis or cell death in such cells. These elements in the body tend to trigger processes that create blood vessels around the cancer growth that feed it and allow it to grow. A daily dose of curcumin can help reverse the activity of these enzymes by triggering the pathways that induce cell death in cancer cells. It is helpful in completely cutting off the metabolic processes feeding these cancer cells, therefore, making their survival and growth impossible
- The symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma include fever and abdominal pain. The root cause of these signs is chronic inflammation unleashed by the cancerous growth. Chemo drugs and radiation therapy also cause certain painful after-effects that exacerbate the pain temporarily. Curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory properties that make it a wonderful cure for inflammation. The curcumin inhibits the activity of multiple pro-inflammatory pathways in the body like NF-kappaB and TNF-alpha, therefore combating chronic inflammation.
- Cancer cells sometimes become immune to chemo and radiation therapy. A regular dose of curcumin helps sensitize these anomalous cells to certain types of treatment drugs like the ones that contain platinum. It also deters the action of pro-survival proteins that keep cancer cells safe from radiation and drugs.
- Curcumin is also an antioxidant that can help reduce the quantity of harmful free radicals in the body by neutralizing them and thus reducing oxidative stress. This reduction in oxidative stress helps in making the body less conducive to the development of cancer cells.
Bagdara Farms, a unique initiative in the field of agriculture that focuses primarily on the cultivation of high-quality curcumin that is then used to create supplements of all kinds. Oncomin is one of their offerings that is created especially for cancer patients. Taking Oncomin regularly can help those suffering from bile duct cancer by reducing the effects of cancer as well as improving the effects of chemo and radiotherapies.