“Instead of clipping the tubes or burning it, it should be removed. We are warning: stop leaving the tubes in, it is where ovarian cancer begins,” said gynecologic oncologist Sarah Finlayson from Vancouver General Hospital.
She said the discovery that ovarian cancer actually begins in the Fallopian tubes was “one of these moments of luck” during research into women who carry the BRCA gene that can trigger breast cancer.
“We simply hadn’t looked there before. Once we looked carefully, we found that ovarian cancer does not begin in the ovaries but in the Fallopian tubes.”
Ovarian cancer affects one in 70 women in Canada and the chances of surviving longer than five years after diagnosis are only about 37 percent.
Women with the BRCA mutation have a high risk of developing cancer of the uterus or ovaries and often have them removed as a precaution.
“A woman may have no prior history of ovarian cancer in her family, but we now know that her children and their children could be at risk, and we have the ability to screen them genetically and act proactively,” added pathologist Blake Gilks.