Lilac for Fallopian CancerRecently I received an email from a lady that has Fallopian Cancer. She wrote to me when I did my series on Ovarian Cancer and I feel that her story and the state of Fallopian Cancer is one that needs to be shared.
Her cancer has spread to her ovaries, cervix and abdomen. She has been given 2 - 5 years left on her life.
What is Fallopian Cancer? What are the signs and how is it diagnosed?
I researched it and this is what I discovered.
Fallopian tube cancer is defined as that which starts within the fallopian tubes, a pair of ducts that transport eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. Primary carcinoma of the fallopian tube is very rare, comprising of only 1 - 2% of all gynecologic cancers. Less than 1500 cases have been reported worldwide and as many as 90% of tubal cancers are metastic from other sites. Since the disease is so uncommon, little is known about its causes and/or risk factors and treatment approaches have been taken from experiences with ovarian cancer.
Symptoms MIGHT include vaginal bleeding, discharge, abdominal discomfort and feelings of pressure. Colicky abdominal pain that is relieved by a passage of blood or a watery discharge may be an indicator of fallopian tube cancer, especially if a palpable mass is felt during a pelvic examination. Fallopian cancer is usually diagnosed after surgical exploration.
After researching this and after re-reading the email I received, I felt helpless. I felt like there was nothing I could do. I sat at my desktop and looked out the window and wondered how many women that passed by my window were walking with this disease.
All I know is that any gynecological cancer is a silent killer of women. So many times the cancers are diagnosed as something else and so many times women take that first diagnosis and don't pursue other avenues of diagnosis.
The official color of this disease is lilac. They don't have any other color, for lilac is the color for all gynecological cancers.
I sit here now with my hands failing to find the next words to write about this disease. I fail to find the correct words of comfort to the 1 - 2% of women that have this disease.
All I can say is that I urge every woman to have yearly exams, including a pelvic exam and a vaginal/rectal exam.
Published on August 9, 2006 in