Adrenal cancer — Know It All!

Editorial

All you need to know about Adrenal cancer.

Know your ailment well, so you can manage it better!!

Here we come with Adrenal cancer today!

What is Adrenal cancer?

Adrenal cancer is a rare cancer that begins on top of the kidneys in one or both of the thin, triangular glands (adrenal glands). Adrenal glands manufacture hormones that guide almost any organ and tissue in your body to do so.

At any age, adrenal cancer, also called adrenocortical cancer, can occur. Yet kids younger than 5 and adults in their 40s and 50s are more likely to be affected.

There is a possibility of a cure when adrenal cancer is diagnosed early. But once the disease has spread to areas beyond the adrenal glands, it becomes less likely to be healed. To delay progression or recurrence, therapy may be used.

The bulk of adrenal gland growths are noncancerous (benign). In the adrenal glands, benign adrenal tumours may also form, such as adenoma or pheochromocytoma.

What are the causes of Adrenal cancer?

What causes adrenal cancer isn’t obvious.?

  • When anything causes modifications (mutations) in the DNA of an adrenal gland cell, adrenal cancer forms. The DNA of a cell includes the guides that tell a cell what to do. When healthy cells die, the mutations will tell the cell to uncontrollably replicate and to continue living. The irregular cells accumulate and form a tumour as this occurs. Tumor cells may split free and disperse to other areas of the body (metastasize).

What are the symptoms of Adrenal cancer?

Signs and symptoms of adrenal cancer include:

  • Weight gain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pink or purple stretch marks on the skin
  • Hormone changes in women that might cause excess facial hair, hair loss on the head, and irregular periods
  • Hormone changes in men that might cause enlarged breast tissue and shrinking testicles
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • abdominal bloating
  • Back pain
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight without trying

What are the risk factors of Adrenal Cancer?

Adrenal cancer happens more often in people with inherited syndromes that increase the risk of certain cancers. These inherited syndromes include:

  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
  • Carney complex
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Lynch syndrome
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasias, type 1 (MEN 1)

How is Adrenal cancer diagnosed?

Tests and procedures used for adrenal cancer diagnosis include the following:

Tests for blood and semen. Blood and urine laboratory tests can show unusual amounts of hormones, including cortisol, aldosterone, and androgens, released by the adrenal glands.

Tests for Imaging. CT, MRI, or positron emission tomography (PET) scans may be prescribed by your doctor to help recognize any adrenal gland growths and to see if cancer has spread to other parts of your body, such as the lungs or liver.

Your adrenal gland’s experimental study. If your doctor believes that you may have adrenal cancer, he or she may recommend that you remove the adrenal gland that has been compromised. In a laboratory, the gland is examined by a doctor who tests body tissues.. This study will check whether you have cancer and just what sorts of cells are involved.

What is the treatment for Adrenal cancer?

Adrenal cancer treatment usually involves surgery to remove all of cancer. Other treatments might be used to prevent cancer from coming back or if surgery isn’t an option.

Surgery

The goal of surgery is to remove the entire adrenal cancer. To achieve this, doctors must remove all of the affected adrenal gland (adrenalectomy).

If surgeons find evidence that cancer has spread to nearby structures, such as the liver or kidney, parts or all of those organs might also be removed during the operation.

Medication to reduce the risk of recurrence

An older drug that has been used to treat advanced adrenal cancer has shown promise in delaying the recurrence of the disease after surgery. Mitotane (Lysodren) may be recommended after surgery for people with a high risk of cancer recurrence. Research into mitotane for this use is ongoing.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy, such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is sometimes used after adrenal cancer surgery to kill any cells that might remain. It can also help reduce pain and other symptoms of cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bone.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. For adrenal cancers that can’t be removed with surgery or that return after initial treatments, chemotherapy may be an option to slow the progression of cancer.

How to cope up with Adrenal cancer?

In time, you’ll learn what makes you deal with the confusion and anguish that comes with a diagnosis of cancer. Before then, you may find that it helps:

To make choices about your treatment, read enough about adrenal cancer. Tell your doctor about your cancer, like your test findings, plans for recovery, and your prognosis, if you wish. You can become more secure in making treatment choices as you learn more about cancer.

Hold family and friends close. It’ll help you deal with your cancer by keeping your close relationships strong. The logistical assistance you would need will be provided from friends and relatives, such as helping to take care of your home while you’re in the hospital. And when you feel overwhelmed by cancer, they can act as emotional support.

Find someone with whom to chat. Find a strong listener who is able to hear you vent about your worries and dreams. This could be a part of a friend or family. Often supportive can be the concern and knowledge of a counsellor, psychiatric social worker, church member or cancer support group.

Tell your doctor for your area’s support groups. The National Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society are among other sources of information.

References:

All Images used are for representation purposes and are obtained from google search and we do not intend to violate copyrights, all credits are due with respective content owners. If you wish to take credit or intend to remove the image, Kindly let us know in the comments.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adrenal-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20446405

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4490795/

https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/CRC/PDF/Public/8542.00.pdf

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