According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 78 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It is the most lethal type of gynecologic cancer in the United States, and the second most common type among all gynecologic cancers.
Ovarian cancers were previously believed to begin only in the ovaries, but recent evidence suggests that many ovarian cancers may actually start in the cells of the fallopian tubes and then spread to the ovary and grow there. The ovary is a female reproductive organ that produces both hormones and eggs. Fallopian tubes are a pair of tubes that attach your ovaries to your uterus, and they act as the path for the egg to travel from the ovaries to the womb (uterus). Only those who are born biologically female have ovaries.
Women who have been diagnosed with or who have suspected ovarian cancer should be referred to a gynecologic oncologist for further evaluation to determine the optimal treatment options for the best chance of long-term survival. Treatment recommendation will be individualized but often involves both surgery and additional interventions (such as chemotherapy or other targeted approaches).
What is fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer?
Fallopian tube cancer develops in the fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus. This cancer is most common in women between the ages of 50 and 60 although it can occur at any age. It is diagnosed most often in Caucasian women who have no children.
Primary peritoneal cancer is found in the peritoneum, which is the tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers organs in the abdomen. This cancer may begin in the peritoneum and spread to the ovaries.
Some women carry a gene mutation that puts them at increased risk for fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers.
Women who have been diagnosed with or who have suspected fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers should be referred to a gynecologic oncologist for further evaluation to determine the optimal treatment options for the best chance of long-term survival. Treatment recommendations are typically the same as for ovarian cancer.
The UCLA Simms Mann Center for Integrative Oncology is our cancer support center. Our Simms Mann Center provides free mental health resources for cancer survivors. If you are having trouble finding help, please let your cancer team know so we can assist you in finding you the care you need. For more information about the UCLA Simms Mann Center for Integrative Oncology, visit the website.
UCLA’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology offers a comprehensive and growing survivorship program for our patients. For more information, please ask your provider for details or visit our webpage. We also have available our Ovarian Cancer Survivorship Pamphlet (PDF) as a resource for you and your family.