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What is Fallopian tube cancer?
Fallopian tube cancer is a malignant tumour that starts in the cells of a Fallopian tube. Malignant means that it can spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.
The Fallopian tubes are part of a woman’s reproductive system. The 2 Fallopian tubes are on either side of the uterus. During the menstrual cycle, an ovary releases an egg. The egg travels through the Fallopian tube from the ovary to the uterus.
Cells in a Fallopian tube sometimes change and no longer grow or behave normally. In some cases, these changes can cause cancer.
Cancer can start from any of the different types of cells in the Fallopian tubes. Most often, it starts in glandular cells, which make mucus. These cells are in the lining of the Fallopian tube. This type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma of the Fallopian tube.
Other types of Fallopian tube cancer can also develop, but they are less common. These include clear cell carcinoma, endometrioid carcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), sarcoma, choriocarcinoma and malignant teratoma.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a tumour in a Fallopian tube actually started there. Ovarian cancers can spread to the Fallopian tubes and form tumours there. When doctors can’t tell where the cancer started, the tumours are called tubo-ovarian carcinoma.