Her Mysterious Itch Took Her Life Away a Few Month After Marriage
Woman Doesn’t Discover Cause Of ‘Mysterious Itch’ Until It’s Too late
When thinking about cancer, some common cancers often come to mind, such as breast, lung, and ovarian. However, there are some little known cancers that are even more lethal and can grow very quickly. These also may be hard to diagnose, due to their rarity. One of these cancers in Bile Duct cancer. The bile ducts are part of the liver. They consist of thin tubes that connect the liver and the small intestine. The bile ducts are meant to move bile throughout the digestive system, helping the body to digest fats that are found in food. Lucy Crossley, developed a mysterious itch on her skin, but could not find a cause or basis for it. After being told by doctors to treat her skin with topical solutions, Lucy continued to get worse. With bleeding skin from scratching it so much, Lucy was losing faith in the antihistamines that were being prescribed to her.
It took four months for Lucy to get a diagnosis of bile duct cancer, which included a tumor growth on her liver. After an ultrasound gave no answers to Lucy’s ailment, she was finally given a liver function test. This test produced alarming results of bilirubin levels, which gave good reason to continue investigating her liver.
Three months after Lucy’s itching started, she was hospitalized, where a scan was finally able to reveal a blockage on her bile duct. This bile duct cancer was too advanced to undergo surgery to correct the blockage. Despite what seemed to be successful chemotherapy treatments, Lucy lost consciousness due to internal bleeding and was rushed to the hospital. Her mysterious itch was the symptom of tumor squeezing her liver.
After losing hope of healing from this cancer, Lucy lost her battle.
Bile duct cancer is not a common form of cancer. Two to three thousand people in the U.S. are diagnosed with this cancer every year. Due to parasitic infections that are more common in other areas such as Southeast Asia, bile duct cancer is more common in other areas of the world.
While bile duct cancer can affect young people, it is most commonly found in the older population. The average age for receiving a diagnosis for this type of cancer is 70. The incidences are rising, however, likely because it is being studied more and doctors know to look out for it.
There are several risk factors that can increase one’s chances of developing bile duct cancer. These include liver diseases, such as primary sclerosing cholangitis, cirrhosis of the liver, Hepatitis B and C, and bile duct stones. Inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can also be a risk factor for bile duct cancer.
Obesity can also increase the risk of cancer in the gallbladder and bile ducts. Being overweight can lead to many health issues, but this can be harmful for the bile ducts in particular, because obesity increases the occurrence of bile duct stones and also increases the risk of gallstones.
While this cancer is rare and not usually on doctors’ minds, in Lucy’s case, it would have been helpful for her health and her family to be aware of this type of cancer and its effects on the body. Rare cancers and other diseases should be considered when unexplained symptoms are occurring to anyone.