About the disease
Adrenal gland cancer is mostly benign tumor of hormonally active adrenal gland. Even though the adrenal gland cancer is not very dangerous, it has a capacity for malignant transformation in future. Usually adrenal adenoma is detected by chance during the regular examination of the abdominal cavity. The adrenal glands are a pair of endocrine glands, that perform various functions in human body. They are situated right above the kidneys. The main reason for adrenal gland malfunction is the hormones insuffciency. Different endocrinal diseases also lead to various problems with this part of human body.
Before beginning treatment the doctor needs to know for sure that the symptoms are not caused by the tumor in the brain, because adrenal cancer and brain cancer usually have similiar symptoms.
The prognosis for adrenal cancer is favorable with 60-70% survival rate. The exact causes for adrenal gland cancer are still unknown to the modern science. It is assumed that heredity plays the main role in the development of adrenal cancer. Cancers of the adrenal glands are rare that`s why they are not researched enough.
- Limb tremor
- Increased blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Growing sense of fear and constant anxiety
- Frequent urination
Complex diagnosis of adrenal cancer is performed by an endocrinologist. It includes blood and urine tests, as well as instrumental examination.
- Ultrasound can detects adrenal tumors at an early stage, which is very important for the treatment. It also determines the exact location of adrenal glands cancer .
- Computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are also the methods of diagnosis.
- In some cases radiography research is needed to eliminate the process of tumor metastasis to the lungs.
- Surgery may be either abdominal or endoscopic - each of the surgical approach has its advantages and disadvantages. Endoscopic surgery is performed with the help of video equipment, which is provided by a flexible endoscope. The endoscope is inserted into small incisions or punctures (ranging in size from 0.5 to 1 cm). Punctures during endoscopic surgery are created on the abdomen of the patient. Usually the surgery removes all of the affected adrenal glands (in case of benign tumor). If the tumor is malignant, then the removal of the adrenal gland is performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the pathology, one or two of the adrenal glands are removed.
- Radiation therapy is also a well-known method for treatment of adrenal tumors. In most cases radiation therapy must be used with great precaution. Since the kidney tissue is highly sensitive, even small doses of ionizing radiation may adversely affect its functions. In past few years the treatment of "Cyber-knife" is becoming increasingly famous, but it can be performed only in the best hospitals of the world.
- Chemotherapy is an effective treatment option for certain types of adrenal tumors. Usually, this treatment is used to reduce the further development of the tumor. Sometimes specific chemotherapy drugs are prescribed by the doctor to suppress the symptoms of cancer associated with hormone activity of hormone-dependent tumors. Rarely the doctors prefer not to use ant treatment for tumor and observe its dynamics. Such method is used when tumor is "clinically silent" and does not release hormones. It is also used is the tumor has a diameter less than 3 centimeters.