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Cancer of the fallopian tube is extremely rare, accounting for only 1% of cancers of the female reproductive tract. The fallopian tube is located in the female pelvis between the ovary and uterus. Often, cancers of the ovary or uterus spread to the fallopian tube. Primary cancers of the tube are adenocarcinomas and usually detected as a pelvic mass similar to ovarian cancer. Only by careful evaluation of the tube can the diagnosis be established.

Fallopian tube cancer: Symptoms

The classic signs and symptoms of a fallopian tube cancer include clear, watery discharge, irregular vaginal bleeding and pelvic mass.

Fallopian tube cancer: Diagnosis

A pelvic sonogram confirms the presence of a pelvic mass, and a blood test indicates the possibility of cancer. However, fallopian tube cancer cannot be distinguished from ovarian cancer unless surgery is performed and the tubal tissue analyzed in a laboratory.

Fallopian tube cancer: Treatment

Gynecologic cancer surgery

Tubal cancers are treated similarly to ovarian cancer. Surgery consists of the removal of the uterus, tubes, ovaries and omentum. Biopsies of the lining of the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum, are taken and lymph nodes are sampled. After surgery, most patients are treated with intravenous chemotherapy. When the cancer is confined to the fallopian tube, the cure rate is over 70%.


Chemotherapy involves the administration of chemical agents that poison cancer cells and, to a lesser degree, normal cells. There are many different chemotherapy agents. These can be administered intravenously, intramuscularly, intraperitoneally or orally. Most IV and intraperitoneal regimens are given at three- to four-week intervals. Most oral regimens consist of daily medication for two to four weeks each month.

Chemotherapy agents may cause nausea, vomiting, hair loss, skin reaction or low blood counts. These side effects can often be controlled with additional medication. The side effects stop when treatment has ended. Some of the drugs used for chemotherapy in gynecologic oncology include Taxol, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Doxal, Topotecan, Cytoxan and methotrexate.

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Commission on Cancer Accredited Program - A Quality Program of the American College of Surgeons

The UF Health Jacksonville cancer program is accredited by the Commission on Cancer, a quality program of the American College of Surgeons.

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