A Research Group Finds Most Ovarian Cancers Begin in the Fallopian Tubes. Should They Be Removed?


The Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance stated in new guidance that evidence indicates the majority of ovarian cancers begin in fallopian tubes.

The president of the alliance, Audra Moran, was quoted in MedicalXpress saying that the newly released guidance recommends that even women who are at low risk of ovarian cancer should have their fallopian tubes removed when they no longer plan on having children.

Dr. Moran stated that the Alliance wants everyone with ovaries to be aware of their risk potential and the options available to them.

The recommendations stated in the guidance are presented as a precaution against deadly ovarian cancer. This holds true especially if the woman is at high risk or planning a separate gynecologic procedure. The removal of fallopian tubes and ovaries is called salpingo-oophorectomy.

Screening Tests

Currently, there are no reliable screening tests for this type of cancer. The researchers found that blood tests and imaging scans used in a major clinical trial in Britain were not effective in saving lives.

The removal of the fallopian tubes when another pelvic surgery is performed has become common in British Columbia, Canada according to Dianne Miller, M.D.

Dr. Miller explained that fifteen years earlier, it became evident that the most common types of lethal cancers originated in the fallopian tube instead of the ovary, after which they spread rapidly.

She called the removal of the tubes only an advantage for women who are at average risk of getting ovarian cancer. If ovaries are not removed, they may be helpful to heart and brain health after menopause.

Dr. Miller recalled thinking that some of these cancers may be prevented, since women often have surgery for fibroid removal, tubal ligation, or hysterectomy.

Another category involves women who are carriers of mutations that put them at increased risk for ovarian and breast cancers. This group should consider not only having their tubes removed but having their ovaries removed.

At-Home Testing Kits

The Alliance now offers free testing kits for women who qualify as being at risk for breast cancer. These tests enable women to learn whether they have genetic mutations that increase risk.

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology is also endorsing the removal of fallopian tubes together with any other gynecological operation a woman may undergo, even if she isn’t at elevated risk for ovarian cancer.

Stephanie Blank, M.D., society president, offered her opinion. Although Dr. Blank said the idea is considered to be experimental, it makes sense scientifically. She added that removing just the tubes does not qualify as optimum, but it is an improvement on screening which does not work.

The chief ACS scientific officer, Bill Dahut, M.D., said that he sees good data in these suggestions. Dr. Dahut said that women who had the recommended surgery were found to have lower incidents of ovarian cancer.

The Statistics

Ovarian cancer is responsible for 13,000 deaths each year in the U.S. From another perspective, ovarian cancer causes the death of more women than all reproductive cancers.

As Dr. Miller states, the one thing better than curing cancer is not getting it at all.

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email