Origins of Fallopian Tube Cancer

Ivor Benjamin, M.D., Former co-Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Question
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
Is there such a cancer as fallopian tube cancer? Or, is it ovarian cancer that starts in the fallopian tube?  
Thank you,
F.


Answer
Ivor Benjamin, M.D., Former co-Editor-in-Chief, OncoLink, responds:

Dear F.
Thank you for your question and your interest.

Yes, there are several forms of cancer that may start in the Fallopian Tube. By far the most common variety is adenocarcinoma. More rare histologies (i.e. cell-types) include leiomyosarcoma or transitional cell carcinoma.

Overall, Fallopian Tube primary tumors (i.e. tumors that started in the tube) are uncommon and account for only 1-2% of all gynecologic cancers. The Fallopian Tube is a common site of metastasis (i.e. spread) from tumors that started in the ovary, uterus, endometrium, appendix or colon.

It is often difficult for the surgeon or the pathologist to reliably determine if an adenocarcinoma has started in the Fallopian Tube or the ovary. The reason is that the cells appear similar and the organs are in such close proximity to each other. For a clear diagnosis of Fallopian Tube cancer, the pathologist will look for an area of epithelium that shows a transition from normal to malignant cells that are in continuity. This implies that the tumor arose in the tube and was not a metastasis.

Blogs

Homeopathy: What You Should Know
by The 4Wholeness Team
July 22, 2015

Related News

Earlier Ovary Removal Provides Greatest BRCA-Associated Benefit

Feb 26, 2014

In particular, women with BRCA1 mutation should have surgery by age 35, researchers say


ASCO: Pazopanib Ups Survival in Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Jun 4, 2013

Maintenance therapy linked to longer progression-free survival after surgery for advanced disease


Strict Ovarian CA Screening Adherence Called for in High-Risk

Dec 6, 2012

In high-risk patients, even with annual screening, incident cancers are rarely early-stage