Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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Fallopian Tube Cancer

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 7/2013
Overview

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some basic information about this disease and the parts of the body it may affect. This is the first page of Cancer.Net’s Guide to Fallopian Tube Cancer. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen. Think of that menu as a roadmap to this full guide.

About the fallopian tubes

The fallopian tubes are small ducts that link a woman’s ovaries to her uterus that are a part of a woman’s reproductive system. Typically, every woman has two fallopian tubes, one located on each side of the uterus.

About fallopian tube cancer

Fallopian tube cancer begins when normal cells in one or both fallopian tubes change and grow uncontrollably, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor will not spread.

Cancer can begin in any of the different cell types that make up the fallopian tubes. The most common type is adenocarcinoma (a cancer of cells from glands). Leiomyosarcoma (a cancer of smooth muscle cells) and transitional cell carcinoma (a cancer of the cells lining the fallopian tubes) are less common.     

Fallopian tube cancer is often connected to ovarian cancer. New evidence suggests that at least some of ovarian cancer actually begins in tissue on the fringes of the fallopian tube, called fimbriae. The fimbriae are located near the ovary and cancer may go to the surface of the ovary early in the cancer process. Therefore, the term ‘ovarian cancer’ is often used to describe some cancers that begin in the fallopian tube and travel to the ovaries. More research is being done about the connection between these two types of cancer.

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