Adrenocortical carcinoma

Alternative Names

Tumor – adrenal

Definition of Adrenocortical carcinoma

Adrenocortical carcinoma is a cancer of the adrenal glands.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Adrenocortical carcinoma is most common in children younger than 5 and adults in their 30s and 40s.

Symptoms

Symptoms that suggest increased cortisol or other adrenal gland hormone production:

Signs and tests

A physical exam may reveal high blood pressure and changes in body shape, such as breast enlargement in men (gynecomastia) or male characteristics in women (virilization). Blood tests will be done to check hormone levels:

Treatment

Primary treatment is surgery to remove the tumor. Adrenocortical carcinoma may not improve with . Medications may be given to reduce production of cortisol, which causes many of the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome depends on how early the diagnosis is made and whether the tumor has spread (metastasized). Tumors that have spread usually lead to death within 1 to 3 years.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/14/2010

Endocrine glands
Adrenal metastases, CT scan
Adrenal Tumor - CT

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.