Fallopian Tube (Tubal) Cancer | Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center | Loyola Medicine

Fallopian Tube (Tubal) Cancer

Why Choose Loyola for Fallopian Tube Cancer?

Also called tubal cancer, fallopian tube cancer is very rare and counts for only one to two percent of gynecologic cancers. It is more common for cancer to spread from other parts of the body, such as the ovaries, than for cancer to originate in the fallopian tubes.

Signs and Symptoms of Fallopian Tube Cancer

The symptoms of tubal cancer are similar to those of ovarian cancer. Signs are often mild and may include:

  • Abdominal pain and/or pressure
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Thin vaginal discharge that may contain blood
  • Vaginal bleeding not related to your periods, especially after menopause 

Causes and Risk Factors of Fallopian Tube Cancer

The cause of fallopian tube cancer is unknown, but you may be at a higher risk if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. An inherited gene called BRCA1 also increases your chances of developing tubal cancer.

In general, women between age 50 and 60 who are white and have had few or no children are at a higher risk. 

How Is Fallopian Tube Cancer Diagnosed?

Fallopian tube cancer is difficult to diagnose because it is rare and very similar to other gynecologic cancers. Your doctor will begin with a thorough physical exam and medical history. You will most likely also need a pelvic exam, and your doctor will examine your abdomen. Other tests include:

Treatment and Care of Fallopian Tube Cancer

Treatment for fallopian tube cancer depends on the type and stage of your tumor, your age and if you want to have children. Treatment is typically the same as that used on those with ovarian cancer, including:

  • Surgery: hysterectomy, or the removal of the uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes
  • Chemotherapy: usually recommended as a follow-up treatment to surgery

Prevention and Screening for Fallopian Tube Cancer

Although fallopian tube cancer cannot be prevented, you should talk to your doctor about setting up regular screenings if you have: