CJUA 

23 Kilmer Dr, Suite C
Morganville, NJ 07751

ph: 732-972-9000
fax: 732-972-0966

Adrenal Cancer


The adrenal gland is a small gland that lies on top of the kidney (see figure).  Its normal function is to secrete hormones.  Adrenal cancer is a rare cancer, accounting for 0.02 – 0.2% of cancer deaths.  Unfortunately, benign adrenal growths are relatively common.  Telling these two conditions apart can be challenging.  The larger the adrenal mass the more likely it is a cancer.  Additionally, MRI’s are very sensitive in distinguishing different classes of adrenal masses, including benign from malignant.  Regardless, all patients with an adrenal mass should undergo certain blood and urine tests to help distinguish if the mass is excreting any one of several hormones.  Because these tumors may secrete hormones, symptoms vary widely.  Symptoms include fever, weight loss, abdominal pain and tenderness, back pain, abdominal fullness, virilization (developing more masculine features), feminization, weight gain, hypertension and numerous abnormal blood tests.  Treatments for tumors that are large, suspicious of being malignant or functional (secrete hormones) is surgical.  Surgery is typically done laparoscopically (small incisions aided with tiny camera within the body), but occasionally an open approach with an incision is needed for very large tumors.

illustration of adrenals

 

 

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23 Kilmer Dr, Suite C
Morganville, NJ 07751

ph: 732-972-9000
fax: 732-972-0966