Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Tests For Fallopian Tube Cancer

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Widely simply referred to as PFTC, Primary fallopian tube cancer is a cancer that develops in the fallopian tubes of a woman. While the condition is relatively uncommon, having an incidence rate of 0.41 in every 100,000 women from the period between 1998 to 2003, studies have shown that the condition is more likely to affect a white, non Hispanic woman than the others. Fallopian tube cancer will initially start with normal cells in either one or both of the tubes starting to change and grow uncontrollably - thereby growing into a tumor. This tumor can either be benign or malignant with the former indicating that the growth is not cancerous and the latter indicating that it is.

Tests Recommended

Conducting fallopian tube cancer test is one of the most important aspects of diagnosis of the condition. Ultrasound is one of the most popular methods of detection and is based around simply using sound waves in order to create a picture of the internal organs. CT scans are also used in order to create three dimensional pictures of the body as well as detailed, cross sectional views of the same. MRI scans make use of magnetic fields to create the internal images of the patient's body in order to help in the diagnosis of the condition.


Just like any other cases of cancer development, the root fallopian tube cancer causes are still unknown. However, studies have shown that factors such as hereditary and genetics place offspring of sufferers at more risk than others. Additional information also suggests that there is a strong link between breast and ovarian cancer playing a significant role in the development of fallopian tube cancer. Age is another factor that increases the chance of suffering from the condition with most women suffering from the condition being in the 60 to 64 years old category. The risks associated with suffering from the condition are rather hazy because of the fact that not much research can be performed on the subject given the rarity of the condition.


Abnormal vaginal bleeding is one of the most common fallopian tube cancer symptoms. Being able to identify the symptoms as early as possible will go a long way into helping you diagnose the condition earlier in its development - thereby also increasing the chances of effective treatment. The vaginal discharge that you are likely to experience when affected by the condition will have certain noticeable physical appearance. For instance, the discharge is likely to be a clear, whitish viscous liquid that may or may not be tinged with a pinkish residue. However, this is not a definitive symptom of the presence of fallopian tube cancer and will need to be viewed in conjunction with the other symptoms of the condition to arrive at the correct conclusion. Your doctor will still need to collect a sample of the discharge and examine it under a microscope for diagnosis purposes. Intense pelvic pain is another very common symptom of the development of the condition, but could also easily be triggered by something else much less severe such as PMS. Because of the fact that fallopian tube cancer is rather rare as well as the fact that pelvic pain is also regularly considered to be a symptom of a number of other common conditions, it is usually overlooked as a symptom.

Identifying the pelvic mass is one of the more prominent symptoms that most doctors will look for during a physical examination. In the event the doctor feels an abdominal pelvic mass, he or she is likely to then conduct other medical tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan that will lead to the correct diagnosis.


Cancer treatment of any kind will involve the drafting of an entire treatment plan that covers a number of treatment methods. This would include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy as well as targeted therapy. While in some cases, minimal treatment will be required in order to treat the condition effectively, these instances are few and far between. Surgery will usually be one of the first options that is thought of as the medical staff decides that the tumor must be removed from within the body as soon as possible. Chemotherapy may then be used and is essentially the use of a series of drugs focused on destroying the cancer cells within the body. In fallopian tube cancer treatment, chemotherapy is usually performed after the surgical procedure, something that is not a mandate in all cancer treatments. Radiation therapy will incorporate the use of high energy x-rays in order to kill the cancer cells while targeted therapy will focus any treatment on specific genes, proteins and tissue environments that play a part in the development of the condition. All treatment options come with their own set of risks and side effects, so it is important to consult your doctor about the same.