Liver, Pancreatic and Bile Duct Cancers

Questions About Liver or Pancreatic Cancers?

We’re here to help. Contact Vanessa Boral, MSN, RN at 203 276-2273  (Press 2). 

The Bennett Cancer Center offers exceptional treatment for cancers of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile duct. While these cancers may be less common, they are also often more challenging cancer types to diagnose and treat. Cancer diagnosis and treatment can be a confusing, and sometimes frightening, process. We offer the services of a Nurse Navigator who meets all patients early in their care and provides a familiar face and voice. Furthermore, since liver and pancreatic cancers tend to run in certain families, we also offer the services of a genetic counselor.

What are the symptoms of liver cancer, pancreatic cancer and bile duct cancers?

The presenting signs or symptoms of liver, pancreatic or bile duct cancers are usually non-specific. Many experience weight loss, abdominal or back pain, discomfort, jaundice (turning yellow) nausea, vomiting, pancreatitis or decreased energy.

How are liver cancers, pancreatic cancers and bile duct cancers diagnosed?

Patients at Stamford Health have access to advanced imaging technology including (but not limited to) thin cut CT scans with special protocol for studying the pancreas, liver, advanced MRI and state of the art PET scan. To diagnose and better stage suspicious hepato-pancreatico and biliary lesions our center uses advanced endoscopic procedures, like endoscopic ultrasound and ERCP on a regular basis. Our highly experienced interventional radiology group is always available to help the work up and staging process for any patient for hepato-pancreatico-biliary lesion. Wait time for these imaging and diagnostic studies are short, usually measured in a few days.

After collecting enough information about the patient and the condition, each complex patient is presented in our multidisciplinary tumor board. The presentation is done in front of a large group of providers all specializing in the treatment of gastro-intestinal /hepato-pancreatico-biliary malignancies. Our well trained providers participating in these conferences include, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, dietitian, radiologist, pathologist, interventional radiologist, genetic counselor, and a gastrointestinal nursing navigator.

During this presentation each case is carefully and individually reviewed focusing on presenting symptoms, exam findings, radiographic studies, endoscopic studies, pathology slides, laboratory findings and tumor markers. We occasionally decide to obtain additional studies to help clarify diagnostic dilemmas. At the end of each presentation our multidisciplinary team agrees on the next best step in further work-up or management.

Conditions We Treat

  • Liver cancer/tumor
  • Metastatic liver tumors from colorectal cancer, carcinoid tumors, appendix cancer, sarcomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)Bile duct cancer/Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Hilar cholangiocarcinoma
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Pancreas tumor/cancer
  • Pancreas mucinous cyst (IPMN, MCN)
  • Duodenal cancer/tumor
  • Ampullary cancer/tumor
  • Small bowel cancer
  • Carcinoid tumors of the gastrointestinal tract (primary and metastatic)

What are the treatment options for liver and pancreatic cancers? 

Once a diagnosis is obtained, or confirmed, treatment depends on the type and stage of your liver pancreatic or bile duct cancer. Options usually include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, interventional radiology procedures or a combination of these treatment modalities together.

Surgical Treatments

These are the types of surgeries we perform. Learn more about what to expect.

  • Partial liver resection
  • Liver lobectomy
  • Radiofrequency ablation of liver tumors
  • Bile duct resection
  • Gallbladder resection with partial liver resection
  • Selective abdominal lymphadenectomy/portal node dissection
  • Whipple/pancreatico-duodenectomy
  • Vascular resections with reconstruction for vein involvement by pancreas tumors
  • Distal pancreatectomy
  • Total pancreatectomy
  • Duodenal resection