Your physician will determine the best treatment option for you based on the stage of the disease and the tumor grade. The doctor also considers other factors, including your age and general health. Some of the most widely recommended treatment options for fallopian cancer are listed below.
Traditional open surgery for the treatment of fallopian tube cancer involves the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) through an incision in the abdomen. The doctor also removes both fallopian tubes and both ovaries in a procedure called a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. To determine if cancer has spread, the lymph nodes near the tumor may be removed and areas surrounding the fallopian tubes may be sampled.
Even if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may have chemotherapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left. Treatment given after the surgery, to lower the risk that the cancer will come back, is called adjuvant therapy.
The second line of defense against fallopian tube cancer is typically chemotherapy treatment, using drugs to kill cancer cells. This may be prescribed before or after surgery and may be administered in different ways:
Roswell Park researchers are investigating alternative treatment methods for fallopian tube cancer, specifically whether treatments used for ovarian cancer might also be used to treat cancer in the fallopian tubes. One of these options is IP chemotherapy, a treatment developed by Roswell Park oncologists now recommended for advanced ovarian cancer.
IP chemotherapy uses the same drugs as IV chemotherapy, but they are delivered at 10 to 100 times the concentration directly to the abdomen, bathing the peritoneal cavity in anticancer agents. Research found that adding IP chemotherapy improved progression-free survival and overall survival significantly enough that the National Cancer Institute issued a clinical announcement recommending that women with Stage III ovarian cancer be considered for IP chemotherapy after the surgical removal of tumors.
Treatment begins a couple of weeks post surgery and continues once a month for six months. Because the toxicity of the drugs is higher, side effects may be more pronounced. Patients with early-stage ovarian cancer or those with certain risk factors may not be candidates for IP chemotherapy, so discuss this option, along with the risks and benefits, with your care team.
You may find that your options for treatment here are greater than anywhere else, which can be reassuring but also overwhelming. We are committed to providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your treatment. Here are some points to consider as you evaluate your options: