Adrenocortical cancer is a rare disease in which cancer forms in the cortex (outer layer) of an adrenal gland. There are two adrenal glands. One sits on top of each kidney. The adrenal cortex makes important hormones, including ones that keep water and salt in balance, control blood pressure and help the body use energy.
Signs & Symptoms
Adrenocortical tumors usually make extra amounts of one or more adrenal hormones: cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone and estrogen. These extra amounts may cause these and other symptoms:
- A lump in the abdomen
- Pain the abdomen or back
- A feeling of fullness in the abdomen
- A nonfunctioning adrenocortical tumor may not cause signs or symptoms in the early stages
There are three types of standard treatment. Your OHC doctor will help you determine the best care plan for you.
- Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.
- Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.
There are new types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials.
- Immunotherapy, or biologic therapy, is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer.
- Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells.