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Diseases » Adrenal Cancer » Wikipedia
 

Adrenal Cancer in Wikipedia

Note:Wikipedia is a user-contributed encyclopedia and may not have been reviewed by professional editors (See full Wikipedia disclaimer)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Adrenal cancer". (Source - Retrieved 2006-09-07 13:55:30 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenal_cancer)

Introduction

Adrenal cancer is a rare disease that afflicts the adrenal gland. Metastases of adrenal cancer can be spread all the way to the lungs due to the aggressiveness of the cancer. One to two people out of a million are afflicted by adrenal cancer. The name of the cancer is according to the location on the adrenal gland. If the cancer develops on the cortex of the adrenal gland the tumor is called adrenocortical carcinoma. The survival rate for adrenocortical is approximately 10-35% in a five year period. If the cancer develops on the medulla it is called pheochromocytoma. The survival rate for pheochromocytoma is much greater with a 95% survival rate for five years.

Signs and Symptoms

Adrenal cancer is usually asymptomatic, but the signs and symptoms of a symtomatic person are, fever palpable, persistent abdominal pain, hypertension, sensation of abdominal "fullness", and Weight loss. Complications to adrenal cancer are hypercortisolism (Cushing's syndrome), due to the high amounts of cortisol being secreted, adrenogenital syndrome, feminization, precocious puberty, and hyperaldosteronism (Conn's syndrome). In women the meunstral period may continue long after menopause has occurred. In men, testosterone will increase which will lead to secondary sexual characteristics.

Diagnosis

The initial evalutation to diagnose adrenal cancer is a blood test, since the adrenal gland is going to oversecrete (aldosterone, cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone). A blood test will not, however, diagnose the cancer as malignant or benign. Other tests to find the cancer are Computed tomography (CT scan), biopsy, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan).

Treatment

The adrenal cancer can be removed by surgery, usually by a laparoscopy. The aftermath of the surgery may be followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. During and after the surgery hormones must be supplemented to prevent excess hormone loss. Drug treatments include Mitotane, which suppresses adrenal gland function and is the drug of choice to treat inoperable adrenal cancer. Other homeopathic medicine is also being used to treat the cancer which are acupuncture and herbal medicine.

 

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