Fallopian Tube Cancer

What is Fallopian Tube Cancer?

Fallopian tube cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the fallopian tubes, which are two thin tubes located in the female reproductive system. Fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus. It is the second most common gynecologic cancer, after cervical cancer. It is very difficult to detect fallopian tube cancer early, as it often does not produce any obvious symptoms in its initial stages.

What are the Symptoms?

The most common symptom of fallopian tube cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. Other symptoms include abdominal or pelvic pain, a mass in the pelvis or abdomen, and abdominal swelling. The size of the mass typically increases before it is diagnosed.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for fallopian tube cancer include:

  • Family history of ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer
  • Being over the age of 50
  • Infertility
  • Never having been pregnant
  • Obesity
  • Exposure to talc containing asbestos
  • Personal history of breast cancer

Diagnosis and Treatment

Since fallopian tube cancer is so rare and often hard to diagnose, doctors most often use imaging tests and a physical exam to diagnose the cancer. Treatment for fallopian tube cancer depends on the stage of the cancer and can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment is likely to be.