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Formerly known as California Oncology of the Central Valley Request an Appointment
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Formerly known as California Oncology of the Central Valley Request an Appointment

Fallopian Tube Cancer

Women's Cancer Care > Types of Cancers > Fallopian Tube Cancer
Fallopian Tube Cancer Navigation

What is Fallopian Tube Cancer?

Fallopian tube cancer, the rarest of all gynecologic cancers, refers to abnormal cell growth in one or both fallopian tubes. Most are papillary serous adenocarcinomas, which develop from cells that line the fallopian tubes. Occasionally, tumors can form in the smooth muscle of the fallopian tubes, called soft tissue sarcomas. Transitional cell carcinomas develop in a different type of cell that lines the fallopian tubes.

Female reproductive system

Fallopian tube cancer is closely related to ovarian epithelial cancer. It often forms in the same type of tissue as ovarian epithelial carcinoma, and therefore has similar symptoms and treatments.

Fallopian Cancer Diagnosis

It is hard to diagnose fallopian tube cancer because it is rare and difficult to detect. Not much is known about the risk factors for this type of cancer, but they may include infection or inflammation of the fallopian tubes, not having children, not having used birth control, genetic mutations, or having a family history of fallopian tube cancer.


  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal pain

Tests & Exams

Some tests are performed by primary care providers or OB/GYNs as part of routine screenings, while others are done after receiving abnormal results to learn more.

  • Pap test
  • Biopsy
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • CA-125 blood test
  • CT scan
  • MRI


Staging is a measurement system based on the size of the tumor and how far it has spread in the body. Using the TNM system, all of the information from tests and examinations is then combined and assessed to determine the stage, from I (one) to IV (four). Generally, the higher the stage, the more serious the cancer.

TNM System

(Tumor – node – metastasis system)

  • T: shows how far the main tumor has spread into nearby tissue
  • N: shows whether or not the nearby lymph nodes have cancer in them
  • M: shows if the cancer has spread (or metastasized) to distant organs in the body
Stage 0
Stage I
Stage II
Stage III
Stage IV

Stage 0

If left untreated, these cells will likely become invasive fallopian tube cancer. This stage is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage 0 Fallopian Tube Cancer

Stage I

Cancer cells have formed and can be found in the fallopian tubes or ovaries (one or both).

Stage I Fallopian Tube Cancer

Stage II

Cancer cells have spread from the fallopian tubes to the uterus and/or other pelvic organs.

Stage II Fallopian Tube Cancer

Stage III

Cancer has spread to the peritoneum (lining of the abdomen and organs within) and/or nearby lymph nodes.

Stage III Fallopian Tube Cancer

Stage IV

Cancer has spread to the liver, spleen, intestines, or other organs or lymph nodes in the body.

Stage IV Fallopian Tube Cancer


The grade of an illness refers to how the cancer cells look when compared to normal cells. The lower the number, the more cancer cells look like the normal cells. This means the cancer is less likely to spread and may be easier to treat. Grade 3 looks very different from normal cells and is likely to grow and spread faster.

Comparison of the grades of cancer

Fallopian Tube Cancer Treatment

There are numerous treatment options for cervical cancer that vary based on the extent of the disease. Some treatments are completed in our office, while others would be coordinated and performed by partner members of the patient care team outside of our office.

In-Office Therapies

Other Courses of Treatment


A salpingo-oophorectomy, the surgical removal of one or both of the fallopian tubes and/or ovaries, is a common procedure used to treat early-stage fallopian tube cancer. More advanced stages call for more complicated surgeries, like a total abdominal hysterectomy, infracolic omentectomy, appendectomy, peritoneal washings, and peritoneal biopsy. The surgery is chosen based on the amount of cancerous tissue that needs to be removed.