Eating and drinking and bile duct cancer | Cancer Research UK
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Eating and drinking and bile duct cancer

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This page has information about coping with eating and drinking problems when you have bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma). You can find the following information

 

A quick guide to what’s on this page

Many people who have bile duct cancer lose their appetite and most people lose weight. If you have jaundice you may find it difficult to take in fat from your diet. If you have had surgery you may also have problems eating.

If you have lost weight you may need to increase the amount of calories you eat. There are a number of ways to do this, including snacking between meals and adding protein or high energy powders to your food. Ask to speak to a dietician if you need help.

After surgery any problems you may have depend on the type of surgery you had. You may need to take supplements to help you digest some foods. Tell your doctor or specialist nurse about any digestive symptoms so they can give you treatment to control them.
 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the living with bile duct cancer section.
 

 

How bile duct cancer can affect your diet

Many people who have bile duct cancer lose their appetite and some may lose weight. If you have jaundice it may be difficult for your body to take in fat from your diet. You may need to take supplements to boost your calorie intake and you may need to avoid fatty food until you have had treatment to relieve the jaundice.

After surgery any problems you may have with eating will depend on the type of surgery you had. Some surgery to cure bile duct cancer involves removing the gallbladder, part of the bowel, the liver and pancreas. This type of operation can lead to diarrhoea. After this type of surgery, when you eat, you may need to take supplements to help you digest some foods.

Tell your doctor or specialist nurse about any digestive symptoms so they can give you treatment to control them. It can sometimes take time to get things right.

 

A diet to build you up

If you have lost weight you may need to increase the amount of calories you eat. There are tips on boosting the calories in everyday foods in our diet problems section.

You can sprinkle protein powders or high energy powders onto everyday foods or add them to recipes. You can also get complete meals in a drink. Ensure and Fresubin are well known makes. You can get these drinks on prescription from your doctor or buy them from chemist shops. Some of these come in 200ml cartons (the size of a small fruit juice carton). Sipping a supplement between meals throughout the day can really boost your calorie intake. Ask your dietician for advice on what to use and what you can get on prescription.

There is detailed information about diet and cancer in the section about coping physically with cancer

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Updated: 27 January 2015