Fallopian tube cancer is a rare type of cancer that starts in the fallopian tubes. Though it only accounts for 1-2% of all gynecologic cancers, all women are at risk of fallopian tube cancer. As with all cancers, fallopian tube cancer is most treatable when diagnosed in its early stages. Here’s what to know about fallopian cancer – and how to spot it.
Risk Factors for Fallopian Tube Cancer
Fallopian tube cancer is a rare cancer. Although cancer may begin in the fallopian tubes, more commonly, fallopian tube cancer occurs when cancer starts in other parts of the body and then spreads (metastasizes). Fallopian tube cancer may also cause ovarian cancer.
Those most at risk of fallopian tube cancer are Caucasian women in their 50s – 60s, although fallopian tube cancer can occur at any age and in women of any ethnicity. Fallopian tube cancer is more likely in women who have not had children. There is also evidence that women with BRCA mutations are more at risk, especially those with family members with breast or ovarian/fallopian tube cancer.
A history of giving birth and breastfeeding may reduce your risk of ovarian cancer, along with taking the oral contraceptive pill.
Signs and Symptoms of Fallopian Tube Cancer
Fallopian cancer might not cause symptoms in its early stages. Additionally, many signs and symptoms of fallopian tube cancer can be similar to those of other conditions. However, some signs to be aware of include:
- Pain, pressure, or swelling of the pelvis
- Increased urinary frequency and urgency
- Appetite loss or feeling of fullness
- A lump in your pelvic region
- Unexplained weight loss
- Vaginal discharge
- Gas or constipation
Be mindful of these symptoms, especially if you fall into a high-risk group, and talk to your doctor immediately to rule out cancer as an option.
Preventing Fallopian Tube Cancer
While there is no easy “cure” for fallopian tube cancer, regular check-ups with your doctor and GYN can increase the likelihood of early diagnosis when cancer is most treatable.
Additionally, there are risk-reduction options for those at risk of fallopian tube cancer. For example, taking the oral contraceptive pill may reduce your risk, although whether this is a recommended treatment depends on your personal medical history. Breastfeeding can also reduce your risk. Other risk minimization options include maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding smoking and heavy drinking. Suppose you are at a very high risk of fallopian tube cancer. In that case, your doctor might recommend tubal ligation or removal of the fallopian tubes to prevent cancer before it can develop.
Talk to the Team at SWWO
Fallopian tube cancer has excellent five-year survival rates when caught in its early stages, so don’t wait. If you’re experiencing symptoms or have been diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer, talk to the team at SWWO today. We’re always here for you.