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Preventing Ovarian Cancer

Fallopian Tube Removal May Prevent Ovarian Cancer

Cancer researchers are discovering that removing the fallopian tubes during routine gynecological and abdominal surgeries can prevent or significantly reduce a woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer. That's because there is more and more evidence that ovarian cancer actually begins in the fallopian tubes.

Therefore, Legacy Cancer Institute recommends that certain women have their fallopian tubes removed as a way to prevent future ovarian cancer.

  • See the FAQ to learn more


A case study of ovarian cancer beginning in the fallopian tubes

  • Close up of ovarian cancer cells on fallopian tube

    Close up of ovarian cancer cells on fallopian tube

  • Ovarian cancer cells on fallopian tube

    Ovarian cancer cells on fallopian tube

  • Ovary with cancer cells

    Ovary with cancer cells

  • Dr. Ann Smith Sehdev

    Dr. Ann Smith Sehdev, pathologist

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Who should consider fallopian tube removal

• Women past their child-bearing years who are having a hysterectomy or other type of abdominal surgery
• Women choosing to have their “tubes tied” (tubal ligation)

In addition, women who have a strong family history or known genetic predisposition for breast or ovarian cancer should consider fallopian tube removal, which can be done in a minimally invasive manner. Specifically, women who have the BRCA1 gene mutation should discuss ovary and fallopian tube removal before age 35 with their doctor.

The science behind our recommendation

Ovarian cancer is usually found after it has spread and is difficult to treat. However, researchers at Johns Hopkins, among others, are learning that the most deadly and common form of ovarian cancer, called serous carcinoma, actually begins in the fallopian tubes and travels to the ovary. Legacy Cancer Institute research conducted by pathologist Ann Smith Sehdev, MD supports this.

Legacy Cancer Institute believes this is the best method available today to stop this form of cancer in its tracks. That is why our doctors recommend that gynecologists remove the fallopian tubes during hysterectomies, tubal ligations, and other routine abdominal procedures. We also recommend that women who have a strong family history or known genetic mutation predisposing them to breast or ovarian cancer consider tube removal to reduce their risk.

This recommendation has already been adopted as a standard practice throughout Canada and is embraced by a growing number of Portland-area gynecologists and surgeons.