The fallopian tubes are a pair of thin tubes that transport the egg from the ovaries to the uterus. They can either be fertilized or discarded along the process of menstruation. The ovary release one egg every month and the cilia (hair-like projections inside the uterus) transports them to the ovary. This is a normal process for all women who have attended the reproductive age.
When cancer develops?
An abnormal growth of the malignant cells in the fallopian tubes leads to fallopian tube cancer. Most of the cancer that occurs in the fallopian tube is known as papillary serous adenocarcinomas. These are cancers that originate from the abnormal cells of the fallopian tube. When cells have the capability to invade other organs or spread to surrounding cells of the organ, there are high chances of tumor formation. When tumors are formed from the smooth cells of the fallopian tube, they are known as leiomyosarcomas.
The potential causes and risks involved
Out of all gynecological cancers, primary fallopian tube cancer accounts for no more than one percent. The most common age segment for this case is from 40 to 65 and is more frequently diagnosed in Caucasian women as compared to African women. While the exact causes and risk factors of fallopian tube cancer are not known, some conditions that are commonly associated with this condition involves chronic inflammation of the fallopian tube, repeated infection in the ovarian region, prolonged usage of birth control pills. Apart from this, a family history of fallopian tube cancer poses a woman at greater risk of inheriting this. Genetic mutation is also known to be causing this condition.
The early signs
Some of the evident signs of fallopian tube cancer include vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, and vaginal bleeding. The pain is of dull or colicky nature.
Diagnosing the cancer
A pelvic examination that involves a thorough investigation of the vagina, fallopian tube, ovaries, and uterus can show signs of fallopian tube cancer. A Pap smear test by scraping off a sample of the cervix is done and tested for malignancy. Many doctors are of the view that an ultrasound test helps to detect fallopian tube cancer. Some doctors might even order a transvaginal ultrasound to get a detailed view of the fallopian tube. Apart from this, other lab tests and imaging tests are also necessary to zero in on the diagnosis.
Know the cure
The treatment plan is decided after evaluation the stage of cancer, the current health of the patient, previous medical history, etc. The common course of a treatment plan is a surgery to ensure that all cancer-affected part of the fallopian tube is completely removed followed by a chemotherapy plan to ensure that cancer doesn’t spread to other organs of the body. In some cases, radiation therapy is also used before the surgery to shrink the size of the tumor.
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