Adrenal Cancer

Adrenal Cancer

Adrenal cancer is a rare form of cancer that develops in the adrenal glands, the glands located on the top of the kidneys that produce hormones for most of the body’s organs and tissue. There are two types of adrenal tumors: a malignant tumor called an adrenal cortical carcinoma and a benign tumor called a benign adenoma. Adrenal cancer typically affects adults in their forties and fifties.

Symptoms of Adrenal Cancer

Symptoms of adrenal cancer may include:

  • Easy bruising
  • Frequent urination
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Irregular periods
  • Muscle cramps
  • Unexpected weight gain

Diagnosing Adrenal Cancer

Typically, your physician will begin with collecting a thorough medical history and completing a full physical exam. After this, blood and urine tests are usually performed. Additional testing may include adrenal angiography, a CT scan, an MRI, a PET scan and an adrenal ultrasound.

Treating Adrenal Cancer

The three main treatments for adrenal cancer include: an adrenalectomy where the affected adrenal gland is completely removed, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In many cases, these treatments may be used in combination with one another.