Tubal cancer, also known as fallopian tube cancer, affects the fallopian tubes that bridge the ovaries and uterus. It is a very rare cancer, with only about 350 cases in the U.S. per year.
Women between the ages of 50 and 60 are most affected by tubal cancer, though it can occur at any age. Little is known about its causes because of its rarity.
The symptoms of tubal cancer are similar to those of other gynecologic cancers, but abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge and pressure or pain in the abdomen may be signs.
Very little is known about the causes of tubal cancer, but you may be closely monitored if you:
- Have a family history of tubal cancer
- Have BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutations
The symptoms of tubal cancer are very similar to the symptoms of other gynecologic cancers and conditions. You should speak with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge, which can be clear, white or pink
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Pain or pressure in the abdomen
- A mass in the pelvic area
Diagnosis of tubal cancer can be difficult because of its vague symptoms, which is why our team of specialists takes your family and medical history, genetics and current symptoms into account when deciding what tests to perform.
Your doctor may order multiple tests to rule out other possible gynecologic conditions and diagnosis tubal cancer, including:
- A pelvic exam
- A CA-125 blood test (CA-125 is a protein found in the blood; high levels of CA-125 are common in menopausal women with gynecologic cancer)
- A Pap test
- An ultrasound
- A CT scan
- An MRI scan
In some cases, tubal cancer is accidentally discovered during surgery for a different gynecological condition.
Our team will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan depending on the stage, size, location and grade of the cancer, as well as your age and health. In some cases, minimally invasive surgery may be an option if the cancer is found early.
If you are diagnosed with late stage tubal cancer, you may need to have open surgery to make sure the cancer is completely eradicated. At surgery, your uterus, ovaries and affected fallopian tubes will be removed in addition to lymph nodes or other tissues if the cancer spread beyond the fallopian tube.
Following surgery, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy if continued treatment is necessary.
Our team will make sure you always know your options and what the best treatment plan is before proceeding.