Over 5,000 Italians are affected every year by biliary tract tumors. 25% of diagnoses are random, half of cases develop for no apparent reason with no or late symptoms. And the localization is in difficult or hidden locations, such as inside or near the liver and the gallbladder, with the possibility of doubling the volume in just 28 days compared to 190 days for breast cancer. These are some alarming aspects recalled by Ropi (Oncological Patients Network Italy) in-depth in the new Notebook which will be presented with a webinar on Monday 5 July.
Early diagnosis of these types of tumors is ‘fortuitous’ (20-25% of cases) and often depends on an ultrasound of the liver or abdomen performed for other causes. In about 50% of cases, the disease develops for no apparent reason. Research today offers new and important therapeutic opportunities: at least four latest generation drugs that target two genes responsible for the disease, IDH1 and FGFR2, and capable of increasing survival, improving the quality of life and reducing mortality by about 30%.
“Tumors of the biliary tract including gallbladder tumors and cholangiocarcinomas – explains the president of the Aiom Foundation, Stefania Gori – have different manifestations depending on the location and type of growth. In most cases they are asymptomatic in the initial phase and then develop in case of intrahepatic or extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (inside or outside the liver). This is why this Ropi Notebook is particularly important “, explains the president of the Aiom Foundation, Stefania Gori. “In recent years – adds Giovanni Brandi, medical oncologist at the Sant’Orsola Malpighi University Hospital of Bologna and Founder of the Gico Group (Italian Cholangiocarcinoma Group) – the diagnosis of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas is more frequent. A growth presumably attributable to geographical differences and temporal changes in the risk factors associated with the different forms of cancer “. “Our Association – concludes Paolo Leonardi, President of APIC (Association of Italian Patients with Cholangiocarcinoma) – has collected on the site (www.apicinfo.it) useful information on the disease and above all on accredited and highly specialized centers to contact” .
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