OVARIAN CANCER: FALLOPIAN TUBE REMOVAL
Who should consider removal to prevent ovarian cancer.
What you need to know
Cancer researchers are discovering that removing fallopian tubes during routine gynecological and abdominal surgeries can significantly reduce a woman’s chance of getting ovarian cancer. That's because there is more and more evidence that the most common and deadly form of ovarian cancer, called serous carcinoma, actually begins in the fallopian tubes and travels to the ovaries. Serous carcinoma makes up only a small percentage of all ovarian cancers but is more aggressive and deadly than other types.
Who should consider fallopian tube removal
Legacy Cancer Institute recommends that certain women consider fallopian tube removal as a way to prevent future ovarian cancer. The procedure can be done with a minimally invasive surgery. Specifically, women who have the BRCA1 gene mutation should discuss with their doctor ovary and fallopian tube removal before age 35. Discuss your risk factors and family history with your doctor.
Other considerations include:
- Women past their childbearing years who are having a hysterectomy or other pelvic or abdominal surgery
- Women choosing to have their “tubes tied” (tubal ligation)
- Women who have a known genetic predisposition for breast or ovarian cancer
- The science behind our recommendation
Ovarian cancer is usually found after it has spread and is hard to treat. Researchers at Johns Hopkins, among others, are learning that the most deadly and common form of ovarian cancer, called serous carcinoma, in fact begins in the fallopian tubes and travels to the ovary. Legacy Cancer Institute research conducted by pathologist Ann Smith Sehdev, M.D., supports this recommendation.
Legacy Cancer Institute believes this is the best method available today to help prevent this form of cancer. It has already been adopted as a standard practice throughout Canada and is embraced by a growing number of Portland-area gynecologists and surgeons.