Researchers at the McGill University Health Centre have found that they've been looking in the wrong place when it comes to ovarian cancer.
A study which has now been submitted to a medical journal for peer review shows pre-cancerous cells originate in the fallopian tubes and then spread to the ovaries.
Dr. Lucy Gilbert, chief of gynocology-oncology at the MUHC, says this changes their whole way of thinking about the disease.
"If you keep focussing on the ovaries, you may miss the boat because by then, it may be too late and it may be too advanced," Gilbert said in an interview with CJAD News.
Gilbert says the discovery may save lives because the cells can be detected and treated before cancer forms.
"So we're not fully there yet because now, we have to develop ways of detecting it early when it's still in the tubes."
Gilbert says currently about 75% of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed too late to be cured.