Fallopian tube cancer is highly treatable when it is detected early. Knowing the risk factors as well as the symptoms of the disease is a critical step in early detection. The risk factors for developing fallopian tube cancer include:
- Increasing age: The risk of fallopian tube cancer increases with age, though it can occur at any age. The average age at diagnosis is between 50 and 60.
- Race: Caucasian women are more likely to develop fallopian tube cancer.
- Family history: A woman’s risk increases if she has a family history of fallopian tube cancer.
- Genetic mutations: Current research indicates that the same BRCA1 mutation that causes breast and ovarian cancer may also be linked to fallopian tube cancer.
Not all women who develop fallopian tube cancer will have one of these risk factors. And those who have multiple risk factors may never develop fallopian tube cancer. That’s why it’s up to you to be aware of your health history and what is normal for your body. If you experience any of the symptoms of fallopian tube cancer or feel you are at an increased risk based on the list above, talk to your doctor.
Roswell Park offers genetic counseling by health care professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. During a genetic counseling consultation, information and support is provided to individuals who have a personal or family history of cancer and who may be at risk for an inherited condition like ovarian or fallopian tube cancer. Information gathered is interpreted in terms of the risk for specific cancers, assessment for an inherited cancer susceptibility syndrome, risk to children and other relatives and options for screening and genetic testing.
If genetic testing is recommended, blood tests will identify the presence of particular genes, particularly BRCA1. These tests may confirm a specific gene change (mutation) as the likely cause of a diagnosed cancer and possibly modify medical management. Genetic testing is specific to an individual and family. All results are kept confidential and reviewed with the individual by a member of the Clinical Genetics Service.