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Adrenal Tumors / Pheochromocytoma

What are Adrenal tumors?

Adrenal tumors are the tumors formed in the adrenal glands that are located above the kidneys. Adrenal glands are part of endocrine system that produces hormones to regulate various functions of the body.Adrenal tumors can be classified as:

  • Benign adrenal tumors – These tumors are noncancerous and they don’t spread to other parts of the body. They may be diagnosed accidentally when you are having diagnostic tests for some other problems.
  • Functional adrenal tumors – These tumors are usually noncancerous but may turn out to be malignant. Functional adrenal tumors have the ability to produce hormones.
  • Malignant adrenal tumors – These tumors are cancerous and are usually adrenal cortical carcinomas.
What are the causes of Adrenal tumors?

The exact cause of Adrenal tumors in not unknown. However, there are certain risk factors associated with Adrenal tumors, namely:

  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease
  • Neurofibromatosis type 1
What are the symptoms of Adrenal tumors?

The symptoms of Adrenal tumors depend on the type of tumor and its location. They may include:

  • High
  • Blood pressure
  • Low levels of potassium
  • Unexplained weight gain/weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Nervousness
  • Panic attacks
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweat
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Diabetes
  • Abdominal stretch marks
  • Changes in genitalia
  • Change in libido
How can Adrenal tumors be treated?

The treatment for Adrenal tumors depend on the type of tumor and its location. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Surgery
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Radionuclide therapy