Does fallopian tube removal prevent ovarian cancer?

Date posted: 
Thursday, November 26, 2015

Every year ovarian cancer affects over 2,600 Canadian women and the five-year overall survival rates for this disease remain below 50%. 

The most lethal and most common type of ovarian cancer, high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC), was once believed to originate from the ovary, but recent pathologic and genomic findings identified tissue in the fallopian tube as the origin for most of these cancers. Based on this, in September 2010 BC Ovarian Cancer Research (OVCARE) launched a campaign recommending that gynecologic surgeons in the province consider removing the fallopian tubes in women undergoing routine gynecologic procedures.

Data access has been approved for a population-based assessment of the results of the OVCARE 2010 program, led by Dr Gillian Hanley, Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. The project is funded by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute and Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

“OVCARE 2010 is an important first step toward understanding the role of fallopian tube removal in the prevention of ovarian cancer,” says Dr Hanley. “Going forward, we must study whether fallopian tube removal is safe and sustainable at a health care system level.  We also need to learn more about the prevention effect of other routinely provided gynecologic surgeries and to better understand how to identify women at higher than acceptable risk for ovarian cancer.”

PopData will link data from the BC Ministry of Health, the BC Cancer Agency, the BC Vital Statistics Agency and PharmaNet for the project.

Page last revised: November 26, 2015