What are the risk factors for fallopian tube cancer?


A risk factor is any factor that is associated with increasing someone’s chances of developing a certain condition, such as cancer. Some risk factors can be modified, such as lifestyle or environmental risk factors. Others cannot be modified, such as inherited factors and whether someone in the family has had cancer.

Having 1 or more risk factors does not mean that you will develop cancer. Many people have at least 1 risk factor but will never develop cancer, while others with cancer may have had no known risk factors. Even if a person with cancer has a risk factor, it is usually hard to know how much that risk factor contributed to the development of their disease.

Factors that are associated with a higher risk of developing fallopian tube cancer include:

  • a family history of ovarian cancer, breast cancer or bowel cancer
  • a mutation in 1 of several known genes, including BRCA1/2
  • having Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer or HNPCC
  • increasing age – it is more common in women over 50 years of age
  • never having children.[1]

Chronic infection or inflammation of the fallopian tubes – for example, because of untreated sexually transmitted infections – has also been associated with fallopian tube cancer. But a cause-and-effect relationship has not been proven.

If you have any of these risk factors or are concerned about your risk for fallopian tube cancer, please see your doctor.