Fallopian tube removal recommended as an ovarian cancer prevention strategy

Fallopian tube removal recommended as an ovarian cancer prevention strategy

A leading cancer research group, Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, released a consensus statement urging the importance of preventative fallopian tube removal as a way to mitigate chances of ovarian cancer. While this mirrors previous recommendations and is consistent with many conversations doctors have with their patients, it is the first time this esteemed research group has communicated this guidance so clearly. This recommendation is only for people whose family planning goals do not involve any childbearing, and also highlights the ability to align fallopian tube removal with other, necessary pelvic surgeries. 

The consensus statement reads “the fallopian tube is the origin of most high-grade serous cancers, fallopian tube removal has been shown to dramatically reduce risk for a later ovarian cancer diagnosis.” This report amplifies a generally unknown fact that the most serious ovarian cancer originates in the fallopian tube, and that fallopian tube removal is an option for many people. 

The American Cancer Society predicts that about 19,000 people will have ovarian cancer in 2023, and predicts that about 13,000 of those diagnosed with ovarian cancer will die from the disease. It mostly occurs in older people with ovaries and is more common for White people than in Black people. While ovarian cancer isn’t common, it is deadly, and there are currently no successful screening tests for ovarian cancer. Now, the medical community must develop guidelines on who is eligible, and make sure access to fallopian tube removal is equitable and reaches the necessary population. 

Beyond preventative fallopian tube removal, the group also recommends people with ovaries learn more about their genetic risk for ovarian cancers to best decide if fallopian tube removal is a good fit for them. It is important to know your risk and couple it with the recommended, available mitigation factors to do what you can to prevent the onset of serious and dangerous cancer. 

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