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Stage is the word doctors use to communicate the size of a cancerous tumor and where and how far it has spread. The first place cancer is found in the body is called the primary site or primary tumor. When a cancer spreads to distant parts of the body, it is said to have metastasized. There are two types of stages of cancer: clinical and pathological.
The clinical stage helps your doctor decide on the best treatment options for you. For bile duct cancer, your clinical stage is determined from biopsies and imaging tests.
The pathological stage is determined based on examination of your bile duct after it is removed by surgery. Sometimes the pathological stage is higher because the tumor has spread more than was expected during clinical staging.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.