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Since molecular testing can provide information that may help direct the way your disease is managed, the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation recommends testing as soon as possible. For this reason, you should talk to your oncologist about molecular profiling as soon as possible after your diagnosis, ideally before a biopsy is performed.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) recommends that doctors perform molecular profiling when the tumor cannot be removed by surgery or when the cancer is metastatic, meaning it has spread to other parts of the body.
However, even if some time has passed since your diagnosis, it may not be too late to talk to your oncologist about molecular profiling.
*Referenced with permission from the NCCN Guidelines for Patients® for Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancers, 2021. © 2022 National Comprehensive Cancer Network, All Rights Reserved. Accessed May 5, 2022. To view the most recent and complete version of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients, visit NCCN.org/patientguidelines. NCCN makes no warranties of any kind whatsoever regarding their content, use or application and disclaims any responsibility for their application or use in any way.
Molecular profiling can help you and your healthcare team better understand your
cancer and how best to approach it.
Here are some questions you may want to ask your oncologist:
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About Molecular Profiling!
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Did You Know?
The latest technology—called next-generation sequencing (NGS)—has made molecular profiling more comprehensive. It can test one tumor sample for hundreds of gene changes or defects at one time.
Ask your doctor about NGS
Cancer is often caused by one or more genes in your body that have changed. There are different types of abnormal gene changes or defects that can cause CCA. Some of these changes include:
Over time, advances in technology have given healthcare professionals the ability to look very closely into the tumor to identify specific gene changes or defects. This kind of detailed tumor study is called molecular profiling. As scientists and healthcare professionals continue to study tumors, new gene changes or defects are being discovered every day.
Genetics and genomics are two terms you might come across as you look for information about CCA. While these words sound similar, they mean different things:
Your healthcare team may be able to use molecular profiling to identify the specific genomic mutations unique to your tumor. This information can help them develop a care plan for your unique CCA.
Among your care team, your oncologist is responsible for ordering molecular testing.
If your oncologist performed a biopsy, but did not order molecular profiling, it may not be too late. An additional biopsy may be needed to provide enough tissue for molecular profiling. Talk to your oncologist and ask if molecular profiling is still possible.
Real patients with CCA and their caregivers share their personal experiences with molecular profiling.