Adrenal cortical (or adrenocortical) cancer is cancer that forms in the external layer of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located in the abdomen and one gland sit atop every kidney. If adrenal cancer is quite rare — only about 600 new cases room diagnosed each year — and tends come be more treatable in children, it have the right to be quite aggressive in adults, particularly if over there is a recurrence.

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The UC Davis substantial Cancer center provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment for patients through all stages of adrenal cortical cancer. Our patients receive all of their care from a team the top scholastic physicians.

Some approaches that might be supplied to diagnose adrenocortical carcinoma include:

Physical exam and history: her specialist will examine for indicators of unusual lumps, and also take a history of your and wellness habits and past illnesses and treatments.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A noninvasive procedure that provides magnets and radio waves to develop images that the within of the abdomen.Positron emission tomography scan (PET scan): A noninvasive procedure the illustrates the body’s biological processes. The patience is injected v a little amount of radioactive sugar; due to the fact that malignant tumor cells basically eat sugar an ext than normal cells, the malignant cells will display up more brightly in the three-dimensional snapshot produced by the pets scan.Urine test: A higher than regular amount that cortisol in the urine might be indicative of disease.Computerized Tomography (CT or CAT) scan: A procedure that photographs the within of the human body from different angles. The patient might be injected with or gulp down a dye that will help the organs or tissues present up more clearly.Blood chemistry study: A blood sample is checked for the amount of potassium, sodium or other substances released into the body; a greater or reduced amount than usual have the right to be indicative of disease.

Sources:National Cancer Institute, American association of Endocrine Surgeons and UC Davis an extensive Cancer Center

Children are often diagnosed at very early stage, because their developing bodies react much more strongly to the existence or absence of the hormones developed by the adrenal glands. The previously diagnosis frequently results in rapid and also successful treatment.

However, adult are frequently diagnosed at a later on stage, when the cancer has actually or is spreading, because symptoms might simply not be together obvious. Part symptoms may include pain in the abdomen or back, a constant sensation of abdominal fullness or bloating. Adrenocortical cancers regularly secrete hormone that develop symptoms such together balding, facial hair growth, sweats, weight loss, weak or easy bruising.

Sources:National Cancer Institute, American combination of Endocrine Surgeons and also UC Davis substantial Cancer Center

There are couple of risk determinants for adrenal cortical cancer, apart from having the following rare hereditary diseases:

Li-Fraumeni syndrome: A bias to many cancers, caused by a mutation in a gene the normally avoids tumor growth.Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome: an overgrowth disorder caused by a gene mutation. Babies are big at birth, through a large tongue and internal organs, and also potentially short blood sugar.Carney complex or syndrome: A gene mutation that results in dark clues on the skin and also tumors in the heart, endocrine glands, skin and nerves.

Sources:National Cancer Institute, American combination of Endocrine Surgeons and UC Davis substantial Cancer Center


Treatment the adrenocortical cancer begins with the operation removal of the tumor and the connected adrenal gland. Surrounding lymph nodes and also tissues may also be removed. Surgical removal is the just treatment because that the beforehand stages the this cancer. An separation, personal, instance diagnosed at a later on stage may additionally require radiation and/or chemotherapy.

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More about surgical interventions because that adrenal cancer


Mitotane, a drug that is a chemical loved one of the pesticide DDT, has been shown to reduce the danger of tumor recurrence. For advanced or metastatic ACC, the existing standard chemotherapy regimen is a mix of drugs consisting of doxorubicin, cisplatin, etoposide and mitotane.

Sources:National Cancer Institute, American combination of Endocrine Surgeons and UC Davis an extensive Cancer Center

Endocrine Surgery

Michael Campbell, M.D.Associate Professor of Surgery

Claire Graves, M.D.Assistant Professor the Surgery

Hematology and also Oncology

Primo Lara, M.D.Professor the Medicine, Hematology and OncologyDirector, UC Davis substantial Cancer Center