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Cholangiocarcinoma: Treatment, Outcomes, and Nutrition Overview for Oncology Nurses

Susan Acquisto
Renuka Iyer
Lauren M. Rosati
Natasha Pinheirn
Karen Driskill
Kaitlyn Musto
Heidi Lowitzer
Elizabeth Bradley
Lorraine Drapek
CJON 2018, 22(4), E97-E102 DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.E97-E102

Background: Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancer that arises from the bile ducts inside or outside of the liver. Although it is a rare cancer, cholangiocarcinoma appears to be rising in incidence in the United States and worldwide.

Objectives: The diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma frequently presents with biliary emergencies from diagnosis through treatment. The lethality of this cancer stems, in part, from challenges with supportive care during treatment. This article provides an overview of intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, including identification of risk factors, differences in treatment approaches, palliation of symptoms, and insight into commonly asked questions.

Methods: A comprehensive review of the current literature regarding incidence, prevalence, and treatment of cholangiocarcinoma was conducted.

Findings: Nursing literature regarding cholangiocarcinoma is scarce. Studies that focus on nursing care, symptom management, and nursing management of patients with biliary obstruction are needed. Nutrition and palliative care management of patients with cholangiocarcinoma are key areas of nursing management.

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