A type of chronic liver disease in which the tubes that carry bile (fluid that helps digest fat) out of the liver become damaged or blocked over time. This can cause bile and toxic substances to build up in the liver, which may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver failure. It may also increase the risk of liver cancer. Biliary cirrhosis may be caused by gallstones, injury to the bile ducts, autoimmune disorders, and certain other conditions.
Last updated: 2014-02-26
Source: The National Cancer Institute's Dictionary of Cancer Terms (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary)