Adrenal Cancer Treatment – Dr. A. Kadir Tepeler, MD

Adrenal Cancer

The adrenal gland is an organ located in the upper part of the kidney, whose main function is to produce hormones.

The masses formed as a result of uncontrolled cell proliferation originating from these organs are called adrenal tumors, that is, adrenal gland tumors.

They can be benign or malignant.


What is the Adrenal Gland? What Does the Adrenal Gland Do?

It is a yellow-colored organ weighing about 10 g, located bilaterally in the upper part of the kidneys in every human being. Its job is to produce hormones. These hormones play an active role in the regular functioning of the body's basic functions.

The middle part of the adrenal gland is called the medulla, and the outer part is called the cortex (shell). Aldosterone, cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone are produced from the cortex part. These hormones have many functions such as blood pressure, fluid-ion balance, regulation of sexuality and metabolism.

Epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine are secreted from the inner part of the adrenal gland, namely the medulla. These hormones are known as the body's stress hormones and are responsible for the effects that occur in the moment of excitement.

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How Adrenal Gland Tumors Indicate:

Adrenal tumors (adrenal cancers) can be classified as either benign or malignant, and can be classified as hormone-producing (hormone-active) and non-hormone-producing (hormone-inactive). Tumors that do not produce hormones often do not show symptoms. Most tumors are in this group. These tumors are usually detected during abdominal X-rays performed for another reason (ultrasound, tomography or MRI).

Hormone-producing tumors, on the other hand, may consult a doctor with different complaints. Depending on the region of origin of the tumor and the hormone produced, complaints may become evident. The main symptoms are: high blood pressure, weight gain or weight loss, high sugar level, palpitation, irritability, bloating in the abdomen, osteoporosis, lubrication, and increased hair growth.

Adrenal Gland Tumors Are More Common in Who? Who is at Risk?

The cause of adrenal tumors is not known exactly. However, adrenal gland tumors are more common in some genetically transmitted diseases.

These syndromes are: Carney complex, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2, Neurofibromatosis Type 1

Böbrek Üstü Bezi Tümörlerinin Teşhisi Nasıl Konulur?

Böbrek üstü tümörlerinin teşhisi görüntüleme yöntemleri olan tomografi veya MR ile konulur. Ancak böbrek üstü bezi hormon üreten bir organ olduğu için tümörlerin de hormon üretip üretmediği incelenmelidir.

Özellikle feokromasitoma denilen böbrek üstü bezinin medullasından köken alan tümörlerde adrenalin denilen hormon kanda ve idrarda atık ürünleri yükselmiştir. Kan ve idrarda hormon seviyeleri araştırılarak tümörün hangi hormon ürettiği araştırılır.

How Are Adrenal Gland Tumors Treated?

Adrenal tumors (adenomas) smaller than 4 cm that do not produce hormones, do not cause any complaints, and are detected incidentally on imaging can be followed. If these adenomas become larger than 5 cm, they can be removed by laparoscopic surgery.

Adrenal tumors that produce hormones and cause complaints in the patient can also be treated with laparoscopic surgery.

Masses showing signs of cancer on imaging (tomography or MRI) should be removed. Hormone-producing tumors should be evaluated in detail by an endocrinologist before the surgery and the surgery should be planned after the treatment is started. The anesthesiologist should also be informed in detail about this and preparation should be made in advance.

Things to Know About Adrenal Gland Tumors:

Adenoma: Benign, non-carcinogenic tumors of the adrenal gland are called adenomas.

Small adenomas that do not produce hormones are usually followed. Adenomas that produce the hormone aldosterone are called aldosteronomas. Adenomas that produce the hormone cortisol cause Cushing's syndrome, which is characterized by weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and purple lines on the abdomen.

Adrenocortical carcinoma: It is a malignant, carcinogenic tumor of the adrenal gland. It is much more rare. It can be hormonally active or inactive.

Neuroblastoma: It is a tumor arising from the medulla of the adrenal gland seen in childhood.

Pheochromocytoma: It is a hormonally active tumor originating from the adrenal medulla. It progresses with high blood pressure, palpitations, sweating.

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