Fallopian Tube Cancer Prognosis

Last Modified: January 22, 2006

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I was diagnosed with Stage 1A fallopian tube cancer in July. The surgery was performed by a surgeon specializing in GYN Oncology. Why does your website say that the 5-year survival rate for Stage 1A is 51% (or thereabouts), whereas all other websites I've found quote 91% 5-year survival for Stage 1A fallopian tube cancer?

Answer

Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:

The numbers we have posted are what most oncology textbooks quote, which are based on some older clinical studies. In these studies, fallopian tube cancer stage I patients did not receive any adjuvant therapy (meaning chemotherapy after surgery). Stage I tumors invade the mucosa, although they do not penetrate it. According to our experts, nowadays it is generally thought and recommended that stage I patients receive some adjuvant chemotherapy. With this additional therapy, properly-staged 1A patients could have 5-year survival in the 80-90% range. There are only about 300 total cases of fallopian tube cancer a year (this includes all stages). These small numbers have not allowed for many controlled studies to get accurate prognostic information from, so this 80-90% range is more based on expert opinion, not necessarily hard data.

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