Adrenal Cancer – 5 Things to Know

Adrenal Cancer – 5 Things to Know

Adrenal cancer is a rare form of cancer that affects the adrenal glands, which are responsible for producing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. It is estimated that fewer than 200 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. While the cause of this type of cancer is unknown, it is believed to be related to genetics or environmental factors.

adrenal cancer

1. Symptoms

The most common symptom of adrenal cancer is an abdominal mass, which can be felt on examination. Other symptoms may include weight loss, fatigue, lower back pain, and high blood pressure. In some cases, the tumor may press against other organs, causing additional symptoms such as abdominal pain or difficulty breathing.

2. Diagnosis and Treatment

Adrenal cancer is typically diagnosed with imaging scans such as CT or MRI and a biopsy. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the tumor and any surrounding tissue. In some cases, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may also be used.

3. Prognosis

The prognosis for adrenal cancer depends on several factors, including the size and stage of the tumor, as well as the patient’s age and overall health. The overall five-year survival rate for patients with stage 4 adrenal cancer is approximately 14%.

4. Risks Factors

Although the exact cause of adrenal cancer is unknown, there are certain risk factors that may increase a person’s chances of developing the condition. These include a family history of adrenal tumors, exposure to certain chemicals, genetic mutations, and prior radiation therapy.

5. Prevention

Since the cause of adrenal cancer is unknown, there is no known way to prevent it. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing other types of cancer. These include avoiding tobacco use, limiting alcohol consumption and exposure to environmental toxins, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting regular check-ups and screenings.


Adrenal cancer is a rare form of cancer that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Early detection and treatment are key in improving prognosis and survival rates. While there is no known way to prevent adrenal cancer, individuals can take steps to reduce their risk for other types of cancer.