Fallopian Tube Cancer
Also known as tubal cancer, this type of cancer develops in the fallopian tubes that connect the ovaries and uterus.
Fallopian tube cancer is very rare, accounting for only 1%-2% of all gynecological cancers. While this cancer can originate in the fallopian tubes, it is more common for it to spread from other parts of the body, such as the ovaries or endometrium. In this instance, it is referred to as secondary fallopian tube cancer.
Causes & Risk Factors for Fallopian Tube Cancer
Because fallopian tube cancer is so rare, the exact cause is still unknown. However, there are some factors that can put you at increased risk of developing this cancer, such as:
- Age – While fallopian tube cancer can occur in women of any age, it most often is found in women between 50 and 70 years of age.
- Family history – There’s a higher chance of developing fallopian tube cancer if you have a family history of it.
- Gene mutations – Women with gene mutations like BRCA and HNPCC may be at a higher risk for fallopian tube cancer.
Symptoms of Fallopian Tube Cancer
Since fallopian tube cancer is so rare, how can you know whether or not you’ve developed it? There are some symptoms related to fallopian tube cancer, including:
- Irregular vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pelvic pressure
- A pelvic mass
Diagnosing Fallopian Tube Cancer
An in-depth evaluation from a medical professional, like a member of the gynecological oncology team at Tampa General Hospital, can provide you with an accurate diagnosis of fallopian tube cancer. This evaluation should initially involve a comprehensive medical history and physical exam, including an examination of the pelvis and rectum. The best way to identify growths and cysts on the fallopian tubes is by utilizing high-frequency sound waves via ultrasound, MRI or CT scan.
Treatments for Fallopian Tube Cancer
If you’re diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer, surgery will most likely be necessary to remove the affected tube and adjacent ovary. Chemotherapy may also be recommended as part of your treatment plan.