A Cholangiocarcinoma and Receiving Social Security Disability
Cancer is much larger than one disease. It is a group of diseases that are marked by cells that are invasive (they invade and destroy adjacent tissue), aggressive (they grow and divide without respect to normal limits) and sometimes metastatic (they spread to other parts of the body).
There are many different types of cancer. They are usually named for where they start in your body. For example, liver cancer begins in your liver. Stomach cancer begins in your stomach. Even when it spreads to other organs, cancer is still named by where it starts in your body.
Cancer is also classified by the type of cell that the tumor looks like. Some examples of this are germ cell tumor, lymphoma, blastic tumor, sarcoma and carcinoma.
A cholangiocarcinoma is a cancerous tumor that grows in one of your bile ducts that carry bile from your liver to your small intestine. A cholangiocarcinoma is often a slow-growing cancer that does not metastasize (spread) rapidly, but a large number of these tumors are already well-advanced before they are diagnosed.
A cholangiocarcinoma can originate anywhere along your bile ducts. As this tumor grows, it blocks off your bile ducts.
Fortunately, a cholangiocarcinoma is rare. It affects about 2 out of every 100,000 people in the United States.
A cholangiocarcinoma affects both men and women. Most of the time, it affects people who are over the age of 65.
A cholangiocarcinoma is caused by defective (mutated) cells in your bile ducts. However, no one knows for sure what causes these mutations to occur.
There are some risk factors that may increase your likelihood of getting a cholangiocarcinoma. Some of these are:
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You may not experience any signs and symptoms with a cholangiocarcinoma until the disease is advanced. Possible signs and symptoms include:
- A history of infection with the parasitic worm that is known as liver flukes
- Ulcerative colitis
- Choledochal (bile duct) cysts
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Chronic biliary irritation.
You or a loved one may be afflicted with a cholangiocarcinoma. A cholangiocarcinoma and/or complications that have resulted from it or other disorders that you have besides this disease may have led to you or your loved ones disability and not being able to work.
- Unintentional weight loss
- Jaundice (yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes)
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in your upper right abdomen that may radiate around to your back
- Clay-colored stools