The fact that symptoms of fallopian tube cancer do not manifest at the beginning of the disease, the diagnosis is often late. In addition, because of the proximity of the uterus and ovary, the diagnosis is very difficult to confirm by a simple pelvic exam; specific exams are needed along with the pelvic exam.
Pelvic Examination – your physician can ask you question about the symptoms you experience. if you explain to your doctor signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of cancer in your fallopian tube, he will perform a pelvic exam to examine your uterus, vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and rectum searching for abnormalities indicating cancer.
Your doctor can also perform a Pap test and imaging techniques to rule out presence of an ovarian or uterus cancer; those two often present symptoms similar to those of the Fallopian tube. Other tests that can be done to confirm with certainty the cancer are CA 125 blood test, gynecologic ultrasound, CT scan, MRI of the pelvis and a biopsy.
CA 125 blood test – Your doctor may take sample of your blood to perform a CA 125 blood test. CA 125 is a protein which is considered as a tumor marker; it is often elevated in women with ovarian cancer. Most of the times, this testing is recommended in the fallopian tube cancer diagnosis to rule out gynecological cancers such as ovarian cancer.
Gynecologic Ultrasound – this painless, noninvasive and safe diagnostic technique allows your physician to examine your pelvic organs: uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, etc. if you experience pelvic or abdominal pain, irregular bleeding and/or heavy menstrual bleeding, your will likely be recommended a gynecologic ultrasound. Your physician may also recommend this test if pelvic or abdominal abnormalities have been found during the physical exam.
CT scan – a CT-scan is a medical technique involving the use of special x-ray machine with sophisticated computers to create three-dimensional picture of the tissues of your body; your pelvic area in the diagnosis of fallopian tube cancer. However, excessive use of CT scan can lead to health problems. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is non-radiating and may represent an alternative for some applications of CT scan, but cannot replace the CT imaging.
MRI of the pelvis – this medical technique consists of applying a combination of electromagnetic waves at high frequency on your pelvic to produce detailed images. After injecting a contrast medium (or contrast agent) into your vein, this technique allows your health care provider to determine the chemical composition and the nature of biological tissues of your fallopian tube, and detect presence of abnormalities such as malignant tumor.
Biopsy – to confirm accurately the presence of cancerous cells in your fallopian tube, your doctor will recommend a biopsy. In general, a pathologist will remove a small amount of tissue from fallopian tube for laboratory analysis. The result will be interpreted by your doctor or a physician specialized in interpreting and diagnosing the changes caused by disease in tissues and body fluids.