adrenal cancer refers to a condition that generally occurs when certain abnormal cells either form in or travel to the adrenal glands. there are two adrenal glands available in the human body, one above each kidney. adrenal cancer generally occurs in the outer layer of the adrenal glands as it appears as a tumor. it is very rare and can begin in either one or both of the adrenal glands. sometimes, cancer cells in the adrenal glands may have originated from some other parts of the body. cancers of the stomach, breasts, skin, kidney, and lymphoma can spread to the adrenal glands as well.
types of adrenal cancer
adrenal cancer can be classified into two types:
benign adenomas are around 2 inches in diameter and are said to be relatively small to the other types of adrenal cancer. people who are diagnosed with this type of tumor generally have no symptoms at all. benign adenomas usually occur only on one of the adrenal glands. however, in very rare instances this tumor can occur on both sides of the adrenal glands.
adrenal cortical carcinoma
adrenal cortical carcinoma is known to be much bigger than the tumor in benign adenomas. if the tumor in the body is more than 2 inches in diameter, then it is more likely to be cancerous. in a few instances, the tumor can become so big that it begins to press on your organs causing certain symptoms to occur. apart from this, the tumor can even produce hormones that may cause certain changes in the body.
symptoms of adrenal cancer
adrenal cancer may or may not cause symptoms in the body. however, due to the excess production of hormones such as estrogen, androgen, aldosterone, and cortisol, there are a few symptoms that can occur. apart from this, if the tumor presses on the organs of the body, which can also cause a few signs.
symptoms related to the excess production of estrogen or androgen can be easily spotted in children as compared to adults. this happens because physical changes are more evident during puberty. hence, a few symptoms of adrenal cancer in children can include:
excessive hair growth on the face, underarms, and pubic area.
enlarges breasts in boys
early puberty in girls
in more than half of the people with adrenal cancer no symptoms can be found until the tumor is large enough to press on the other organs. women who have adrenal tumors due to excess production of androgen can notice fatal hair growth and/or deepening of the voice. while men who have adrenal tumors due to excess production of estrogen can notice breast tenderness or breast enlargement.
symptoms related to the production of excess aldosterone and cortisol for adults diagnosed with adrenal cancer may include:
increase in blood pressure
increase in blood sugar levels
excessive weight gain
cramps in the muscle
diagnosis of the tumor is difficult for women with excess estrogen and men with excess production of androgen.
risk factors of adrenal cancer
the real cause for adrenal cancer is still unknown. however, there are quite a few conditions that can put you at an increased risk of being diagnosed with adrenal cancer. these factors include:
this refers to the abnormal growth disorder that can be seen through large bodies and organs. people who have this syndrome are at risk to develop kidney and liver cancer.
this refers to an inherited disorder that can cause an increased risk for many different types of cancer including adrenal cancer.
familial adenomatous polyposis (fap)
this refers to another inherited condition that occurs due to high numbers of polyps situated in the large intestine. this condition even carries a high risk of colon cancer.
multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (men1)
it is another inherited condition that causes many tumors to develop. men1 tumors can be both benign as well as malignant. this type of condition is available in tissues that produce hormones such as parathyroid, pituitary, and pancreas.
smoking is another risk factor that increases the chance of getting adrenal cancer. however, as of now, there is no hardcore proof.
diagnosis of adrenal cancer
the diagnosis of adrenal cancer generally begins by going through your medical history and doing a physical exam. your doctor may even collect some blood and urine samples for further testing and further adrenal gland tumor treatment in hyderabad. the diagnosis of adrenal cancer can include doing further tests such as:
pet (positron emission tomography) scan
treatment for adrenal cancer
once adrenal cancer is diagnosed, starting the adrenal gland tumor treatment in early stage will cure adrenal cancer. there are mainly three major types of treatments that your doctor may suggest to you:
the procedure for surgery can include a process known as an adrenalectomy. this procedure involves removing the adrenal glands. if cancer has spread to other parts of the body then the doctor may even remove the nearby tissues and lymph nodes.
this therapy used high-energy x-rays which help to kill cancer cells and prevent new cancer cells from growing.
depending on the stage of cancer, your doctor may suggest chemotherapy. this is a cancer drug therapy that will help to stop any further growth of the cancer cells. chemotherapy can either be injected into a muscle or vein, or it can even be administered orally.
the doctor can even combine chemotherapy with other types of adrenal gland cancer treatment. there are a few other treatment options available for adrenal cancer. these can include:
ablation/destruction of tumor cells
using drugs such as mitotane (lysodren)
clinical trial treatments such as biological therapy
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