Adrenal cancer is a rare but potentially deadly type of cancer. The board-certified urologists at Urology Associates of Mobile diagnose and treat adrenal cancer at their offices in Mobile, Daphne, Foley, Grove Hill, and Thomasville, Alabama, and Lucedale, Mississippi. If you have symptoms of hormonal imbalance, unintended weight changes, or other potential warning signs of adrenal cancer, call Urology Associates of Mobile or make an appointment online today.
Your adrenal glands are the small, triangle-shaped organs at the top of your kidneys. The outer adrenal cortex makes aldosterone and cortisol — two steroid hormones. The inner adrenal medulla produces adrenaline, noradrenaline, and other hormones.
These hormones regulate your reaction to stress, metabolism, blood pressure, blood sugar, and the balance of potassium and sodium in your body.
Adrenal cancer occurs when abnormal cells emerge and multiply in your adrenal glands. The disease is most common in children under the age of 5 and adults in their 40s and 50s.
While medical researchers haven’t identified a specific cause of adrenal cancer, they know that your risk is higher if you have an inherited syndrome such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, Carney complex, or multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 1.
Adrenal cancer might not cause symptoms in its early stages. As your condition progresses, you might develop symptoms, including:
Women might notice facial hair growth, hair loss on their scalp, and irregular periods. Men might experience gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue) and shrinking testicles.
The team at Urology Associates of Mobile uses a variety of tests to identify adrenal cancer. They typically begin with blood tests and urinalysis to assess your hormone levels.
They also order imaging tests, including MRI, CT, and PET scans, to look for abnormal growths on your adrenal glands and signs that the cancer has metastasized to nearby organs like your lungs or liver.
If these tests indicate adrenal cancer, your doctor orders a biopsy or removes the entire affected adrenal gland to test for cancer.
The doctors at Urology Associates of Mobile provide customized treatment plans to help you fight adrenal cancer. In most cases, they recommend surgery to remove the cancerous cells or the entire affected adrenal gland.
During surgery, your doctor looks for evidence that the cancer has spread and, if necessary, removes abnormal cells from neighboring organs.
They might also recommend that you take medication, such as mitotane, to reduce your risk of adrenal cancer coming back. They might also recommend radiation or chemotherapy to ensure that all of the cancer cells are destroyed.
If you’re concerned about adrenal cancer, call Urology Associates of Mobile or schedule an appointment online today.