The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus and acts as a passage for the eggs to move from the ovaries to the uterus. Cancer of the fallopian tubes is a rare phenomenon and affects around 1% of all women in the reproductive age. The cancer of the fallopian tubes is a treatable condition, and early detection further improves the chances of treatment & complete recovery.
While the exact cause of fallopian tube cancer is not yet ascertained, some factors make it more likely for an individual to develop it more than others. Women who haven’t had a child and haven’t breastfed one are at a higher risk; as are those who have a close relative with the same condition. Genetic mutations also play a part in women developing fallopian tube cancer.
Symptoms of Fallopian Tube Cancer
- Vaginal bleeding
- White discharge
- Lower abdominal pain
- Lower abdominal swelling
Diagnosis of Fallopian Tube Cancer
- Pap Smear
- Pelvic Exam
- Imaging Tests – CT, MRI etc.,
Surgical intervention is the best course of treatment for fallopian tube cancer and the type of surgery to be performed depends on the location and stage of the cancer. In addition to surgery, the patient may also have to undergo chemotherapy to destroy any remnant cells following the surgery. In some cases, radiation therapy is prescribed prior to a surgery to prohibit the growth of the cancer cells.
Types of Surgery to Treat Fallopian Tube Cancer
- Salpingo-oophorectomy: Removal of one or both fallopian tubes & ovaries. Used for treatment of early stage fallopian tube cancer.
- Total hysterectomy: Removal of the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus, to treat later stage cancers of the fallopian tubes.