Deaths from complex, noncommunicable diseases such as cancer are predicted to continue to increase worldwide, with low- and middle-income countries bearing the brunt of the burden. This problem requires a concentrated global effort to avoid devastating losses of life as well as economic losses. Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a readily studied model of complex, noncommunicable disease, but it receives little attention outside of the scientific community in Southeast Asia. Here, we bring attention to the opportunity to study CCA as a model to understand the role of multiple, complex factors in cancer. These factors include allostatic load, individual genetic susceptibility, and environmental exposures such as chemicals, diet, socioeconomic factors, and psychosocial stress. The study of CCA offers a unique opportunity to make novel observations that could advance progress in prevention and intervention approaches for prevalent diseases that involve complex, multifactorial interactions.