The fallopian tube is a tube-like structure in the female reproductive system, and it connects the ovaries with the uterus. Its function is to transport the eggs and facilitate fertilisation in presence of sperms. It is also called the oviduct or uterine tube.
The fallopian tube is rarely cancer-prone, and fallopian cancers account for only 1% of all reproductive cancers in women. Women between the ages of 50 and 60 are at a higher risk of developing this type of cancer.
At HCG, our fallopian tube cancer specialists strive to deliver the best fallopian tube cancer treatment in India via superior quality diagnostic support and innovative treatment approaches.
Fallopian tube cancer is difficult to detect early on since the signs are ambiguous until the cancer has progressed. Most of the symptoms are nonspecific, and the origin of a certain symptom could be linked to a completely unrelated medical issue, not necessarily cancer. The key symptoms associated with fallopian tube cancer include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Lump in the lower abdomen region
- Difficulty in eating and feeling full quickly
- Frequent urination
- Pain and bloating in the pelvis or abdomen
- Indigestion & Constipation
- Frequent back pain
- Sensation of pressure on the bowel and bladder
- Urine and bowel retention
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Vaginal discharge which may be transparent, white or have a tinge of blood.
- Menstrual irregularities
Fallopian tube cancer is one of the most uncommon malignancies of the female reproductive system. The actual cause of fallopian cancer is unknown. However, a few risk factors have been identified:
- Increasing age is associated with an increased risk of developing fallopian cancer.
- Inherited genetic mutations of BRCA genes (or positive family history of breast and ovarian cancers)
- The patient has never used birth control pills
- The patient has never given birth
- The patient has never breastfed her child
Fallopian tube cancer is a challenging type of cancer to diagnose due to its rare occurrence. Fallopian tube cancer is often diagnosed when the patient is in the middle of a surgery for another ailment. There are, however, a few particular tests that can be used to detect and diagnose this condition:
a. Pelvic Exam: This is a physical examination of the pelvis to detect any abnormalities.
b. Blood Test (CA125 Test): CA125 is a protein found in human blood. During pregnancy, menstruation, gynaecological illnesses, and cancer, the CA125 levels tend to increase. As part of the check-up for fallopian tube cancer, a test is performed to determine the levels of CA125 protein in the body.
c. Ultrasound: A pelvic ultrasound may be recommended for fallopian tube cancer detection. This scan captures the images of the pelvic region using high-frequency sound waves.
d. CT Scan: A CT scan uses an X-ray machine to acquire photographs of the inside of the body, which are then reproduced in a computer. A special dye may be given intravenously or to swallow during the scan to obtain clearer images of the organ.
HCG has the best fallopian tube cancer specialists in India who are trained to treat these cancers with result-oriented medical interventions that lead to positive clinical outcomes.
The treatment plan for fallopian tube cancer is recommended based on the stage of the disease, exact location and size of the tumour, the overall condition and preference of the patient. The three treatment options available include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
a. Surgery: Surgery may be recommended by the doctor to remove the diseased portion of the fallopian tube, the entire fallopian tube or the fallopian tube along with the surrounding organs, depending on the stage of the disease.
- Salpingo-oophorectomy: The diseased fallopian tube and its ovary are removed during a salpingo-oophorectomy.
- Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy: It is a procedure where both the fallopian tubes and the ovaries are removed.
- Hysterectomy: The internal reproductive organs, namely the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus, are removed during a hysterectomy.
- Omentectomy: The omentum, which is a fat apron that extends down from the stomach is removed if there are any signs of spread.
- Bowel Resection: If the cancer has spread to the bowel, surgery may be required.
- Cytoreductive/Debulking Surgery: Debulking surgery is performed in the cases of advanced-stage fallopian tube cancers, where they have spread to the nearby organs. The purpose of debulking surgery is to operate as much tumour as possible. This surgery helps in relieving the symptoms and improving the efficacy of other treatments given in combination with the surgery, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
b. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses potent cancer-killing drugs to destroy the cancer cells throughout the body as systemic therapy. Chemotherapy is often used in combination with surgery (either before or after) and is helpful in the management of secondary cancers as it is a systemic treatment and destroys cancer cells throughout the body.
By adopting latest advancements in the field of cancer care, HCG strives to provide the best fallopian tube cancer treatment in India.
c. Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to destroy the cancer cells precisely. Radiation therapy is hardly used for the management of fallopian tube cancers.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the cancer of the fallopian tube treatable?
Fallopian cancers are extremely rare, and they can be treated with positive outcomes. There are multiple surgical management options along with other treatment options.
It is important for women to not ignore any symptoms that are associated with this disease. This is important for early detection and timely treatment. For more information on the treatment options for fallopian tube cancers, it is best to consult a specialist.
2. Can a cyst on the fallopian tube be cancerous?
Not all cysts formed in the fallopian tube are cancerous. There are several tests to find out if the growth is benign or malignant. Based on the results of these tests, the doctor may suggest the next steps.
Although not cancerous in most cases, it is important to get these cysts regularly monitored.
3. Is fallopian tube cancer the same as ovarian cancer?
Although both start from the surface tissues or the epithelial layer, they are different. Fallopian tube cancers arise from the cells of the fallopian tube, whereas ovarian cancers arise from the cells lining the ovaries.
4. Can ultrasound detect fallopian tube cancers?
Yes, an ultrasound scan is one of the recommended diagnostic methods for fallopian cancers. However, ultrasound alone cannot confirm the diagnosis as this method fails to detect microscopic changes in the fallopian tube. Therefore, it is always better to proceed as per the doctor’s recommendations.