ZocdocAnswersWhat treatments exist for fallopian tube cancer?

Question

What treatments exist for fallopian tube cancer?

A loved one (age 33) probably has cancer of her fallopian tubes. What treatments are available to her? Do all of the treatments involve a removal of the uterus as well as the fallopian tubes? I was really hoping she could avoid this, because I understand that the hormonal effects of hysterectomy are severe.

Answer

Cancer of the fallopian tubes is actually the rarest of all the gynecological cancers, with only a few hundred cases diagnosed each year. In terms of its symptoms it often presents like other gynecological cancers, with pain, bloating, and bleeding. It is usually suspected after an abnormal pelvic examination or an abnormal ultrasound. Like other gynecological cancers, it is very important to diagnose spread to other organs as well as to prevent this. Therefore, all cases of fallopian cancer will require, unfortunately, a very extensive operation in which the uterus and ovaries as well as lymph nodes are removed. This is absolutely required, not only because it removes the tumor but also because the surgery forms the basis for the cancer staging system on which the treatment is based. After surgery, a number of further treatment options will be discuss with your friend by her cancer doctor. These may include chemotherapy with a combination of medications or radiation therapy to the pelvis. Occasionally hormonal therapy is also offered. Because this cancer is so rare, it is likely best treated in a large cancer center with lots of experience. Therefore, it is worth asking if the center where your friend is being treated has had success treating fallopian tube cancer.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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