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Fallopian Tube Cancer

About The Department

Fallopian tube cancer or tubal cancer develops when there is an abnormal expansion of cancerous cells in one or both of the fallopian tubes that connects a woman’s uterus and the ovaries. Amongst the known forms of gynaecologic cancers, fallopian tube cancer only amounts to approximately 1% - 2%. A very rare type, only 1500 – 2000 fallopian tube cancer cases are said to be reported globally every year. 

In the majority of cases, cancerous cells from other organs in the body, for example the ovaries or endometrium, penetrates into the fallopian tubes rather than the malignant cells originating from the tube itself. Women between the age of 50 – 60 are at an increased risk of fallopian tube cancer; but women younger or older, may also be affected by it. It is common amongst Caucasian women who have had few or no children. 

Fallopian tube cancer is rare and therefore information on what actually causes it, is not readily available. Scientists are constantly researching if genetics has any key role to play. Evidence suggests that with an inherited gene that is linked to breast or ovarian cancer known as BRCA1 could be a plausible cause for developing tubal cancer. 

Other causes that may also lead to a woman developing fallopian tube cancer may if she has never given birth to children, has never breastfed children or has not used birth control pills.  

At Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatt Road, the Department of Ovarian Cancer has specialists who are skilled and trained at treating complex cases of fallopian tube cancer. Using some of the most modern and advanced technologies and techniques, it is complemented by the exemplary care that is shaped by some of the city’s leading fallopian tube cancer experts. 

The patient care team will also include specialists from other allied disciplines in medicine like medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, diagnostic radiologists and specialist nurses who will work together to get the best possible outcome of your therapy. We believe in using minimally invasive surgical methods so that our cancer patients receive treatment that is painless to a large extent. 

Areas of Care

The Department of Ovarian Cancer at Fortis is adept at treating cases of fallopian tube cancer with their state-of-the-art facilities. 
Fallopian tube cancers are of several types that includes:

- Papillary serous adenocarcinomas
- Primary fallopian tube cancer
- Sarcomas (leiomyosarcomas)

With an experienced team of gynaecologic oncology surgeons, our patients are taken care of by some of leading names in the field. 

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Signs and Symptoms of Fallopian Tube Cancers

Early stage detection of fallopian tube cancer is difficult as it displays no symptoms. However, gynaecological tests for other conditions may help to detect it at times. If the fallopian tube cancer is at an advanced stage, one may experience the following symptoms:

- If you observe a vaginal discharge that is watery in consistency and contains stains of blood
- If you notice a swelling in your lower part of the stomach which is not related to weight gain
- If you feel a lump in your lower abdomen
- If you experience pain in the lower portion of your stomach
- If you constantly experience an urge or sensation of pressure against your bladder or bowel
- If you feel that you are unable to fully empty your bladder or bowel every time you urinate
- If you observe vaginal bleeding that is not related to your menstruation

By experiencing these symptoms alone does not indicate that you have fallopian tube cancer. They can be indicators of other gynaecological conditions as well. However, if you see that the symptoms are persistent over a significant period of time, then its best to check with your doctor at Fortis, just to be sure.

Our Diagnostic Services

If your general physician feels that there is a need to probe further into your case, he may refer you to a specialist. During your first consultation with the specialist, he or she may go over your symptoms and ask questions about your family medical history. The specialist may do a minor physical exam by gently pressing on your abdomen and get a feel for possible lumps or tender spots. 

To get a more accurate diagnosis, the specialist may recommend a series of tests and screenings including:

- Pelvic Scan:

In order to get a better picture of your cervix and get a feel of the uterus, ovaries and the fallopian tube, the doctor inserts a speculum, which is a device that widens the opening of the vagina.

- Pap Smear Test:

A sample of the cells from your cervix is scrapped by a thin tool and later tested for the presence of cancerous cells in the laboratory. 

- Imaging tests:

A number of imaging tests will be prescribed including:

  • Ultrasound
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound
  • CT Scan
  • PET Scan
  • MRI

- Biopsy:

A sample of cells from the fallopian tubes may be collected and later tested under the microscope for malignancy.

- Tumour Marker Test:

The presence of CA 125 which is a protein released if the there is presence of cancer in the fallopian tubes can be detected through a tumour marker test. 

- Blood chemistry tests:

Measuring certain chemicals in the blood, this test ensures the functioning of certain organs in the body. It can also detect if there are any abnormalities and also diagnose the stage of the fallopian tube cancer by using blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. 

- Paracentesis:

This procedure involves inserting a hollow needle or tube through the skin into the abdominal cavity that removes a build up of the fluid inside it which is later tested for cancer. 

- Laparoscopy:

This is the last way to check the presence of cancer cells in the fallopian tube through surgery. A sample of the fallopian tube can also be extracted in order to perform a biopsy. 

With access to top-of-the-line imagining tools and technologies at Fortis, Bannerghatta Road, we have the expertise and the resources to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition. By correctly identifying how far the cancer has progressed is critical to drawing up the best treatment plan for you.

As a patient, it can be an overwhelming time for you and your loved ones. If you have any concerns or questions at any given point of time during these diagnostic tests and screenings, then discuss the same with your specialist at Fortis who is there by your side to ease your worries. All we need you to do is to concentrate on your recovery. 

Treatment Options

Your specialist at Fortis will devise a plan for your treatment depending on the stage and grade of the tumour. Other factors like your age, overall health condition and your personal preferences are also taken into consideration. The conventional forms of treating fallopian tube cancer can include the following either singularly or in combination:

- Surgical Therapy involves removing the uterus along with both the fallopian tubes and the ovaries. Types of surgeries include:

- Hysterectomy

  • Simple Hysterectomy
  • Radical Hysterectomy

- Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
- Lymphadenectomy

A sample from the lymph nodes may be collected to check if the cancer has spread.

- Chemotherapy is the secondary defence where cancerous cells in the fallopian tube are destroyed through drugs. 

- Radiation Therapy involves destroying the malignant cells through external radiation beams.

- Hormonal Therapy and its role in fallopian tube cancer can be a success by using medroxyprogesterone acetate and megestrol acetate in combination with chemotherapy.

Follow up visits are extremely critical post the fallopian tube cancer treatment. At Fortis, we have one of the best outpatient clinics that help our cancer patients to keep track of their treatment on being released from the hospital. 

Cancer can be a difficult condition to cope with, both on a physical and emotional level. We encourage you and your loved ones to be part of your treatment procedures by having a comprehensive understanding about what is to follow in the near future. Being informed about your condition and the subsequent treatment will help you to make the right decision. 

Our Team That Cares

The Department of Ovarian Cancer at Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, is always striving towards identifying and implementing the newest medical technologies and screenings that help in early detection of fallopian tube cancer in women. Co-ordination and collaboration, a multidisciplinary approach, an experienced team of specialist and support staff is our hallmark.

We believe in treating cancer from a 360° perspective. By sitting through multiple consultations, our experts share findings, drawbacks and successes with you on a regular basis. The goal is to work tirelessly to battle your cancer and have you on your way to getting better at the earliest.