If you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer, you are probably facing many questions and uncertainties. Your Miami Cancer Institute care team at Baptist Health South Florida will work tirelessly to provide compassionate, effective treatment for your disease, while working side-by-side with you to develop a plan that fits your individual needs.
Our gynecologic cancer specialists have access to advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies, as well as weekly multidisciplinary tumor boards where our gynecologic experts collaborate on treatment plans. We also participate in numerous clinical trials. These tools and resources will allow your care team to give personalized care that helps address your individual needs and effectively treats your specific type of cancer.
Our multidisciplinary team consists of renowned cancer physicians that provide advanced whole-patient care. Each individualized care plan includes innovative treatments as well as services to address your entire journey as a patient, including nutritional advice, physical rehabilitation and pain management services.
What is ovarian cancer?
The ovaries are small, almond-shaped organs of the female reproductive system that produce eggs for fertilization. They also produce the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
Ovarian cancer develops when cancerous (malignant) cells form in the ovaries, on the tissue that surrounds the ovaries or in the ovaries’ egg cells.
What is fallopian tube cancer?
The fallopian tubes, located next to the ovaries, carry eggs from the ovaries into the uterus. When cancerous cells grow within these tubes, fallopian tube cancer results.
What are the types of ovarian cancer?
Most forms of ovarian cancer begin in the surface epithelial cells, which cover the surface of the ovaries. They often start at the part of the ovary near the end of the fallopian tube.
Other, less common types of ovarian cancer may form in:
- Germ cells. These cells ultimately form the eggs.
- Stromal cells. These cells release the hormones estrogen and progesterone and help hold the ovary together.
What are the risk factors for ovarian cancer and fallopian tube cancer?
The most common risk factor for ovarian cancer is age; most cases are diagnosed in women ages 60-75.
If you have a family history of cancer, you may also be at risk for ovarian or fallopian tube cancer. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of ovarian cancers are linked to inherited mutations in certain genes, including hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome caused by mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Other risk factors for ovarian cancer may include:
- Having children after age 35 or never having a full-term pregnancy.
- Using hormone therapy after menopause.
- Using fertility treatment.
What can you do to prevent ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer?
There is no guaranteed way to prevent ovarian or fallopian tube cancer. However, you can reduce your risk by:
- Exercising regularly.
- Eating a healthy diet, which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy. Talk with your doctor or a nutritionist about what you should include in a healthy diet.
- Using oral contraceptives.
- Keeping a healthy weight. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for you.
- Asking your doctor about genetic testing and screening recommendations if you have an inherited disease that increases your risk for ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the ovaries or the fallopian tubes, or both, to prevent disease.
I did prophylactic mastectomy because I have the BRCA mutation, and I am still doing monthly blood tests for my CA-125 which I will never stop doing. I don't ever consider myself cured, but it's been nine years.