What Is Adrenal Carcinoma?

Adrenal carcinoma is a type of cancer that affects the adrenal glands. These glands sit above the kidneys and produce a number of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which are essential to the body. This type of cancer is associated with several genetic risk factors, such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and Von Hippel-Lindau disease.

What are the symptoms of adrenal carcinoma?

Adrenal carcinoma often results in a tumor that produces its own hormones, and many of the symptoms related to this condition are a result of these additional hormones. These symptoms may include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles in women
  • Changes in libido
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Mood swings
  • Unexplained weight changes
  • High blood sugar
  • Enlargement of the penis in men or clitoris in women

In addition to hormonal symptoms, a tumor may grow large enough that it presses on nearby organs, causing pain or resulting in a noticeable lump in the abdomen. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a physician to rule out other conditions and confirm an adrenal carcinoma diagnosis.

What are my treatment options?

Treatment for adrenal carcinoma can vary quite a bit depending on the location of the tumor, how advanced the cancer is and the patient’s overall health. Common treatments include surgery to remove the tumor, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of one or more of these approaches.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we take a collaborative approach to adrenal carcinoma treatment to ensure our patients receive the best possible treatment and care. Our multispecialty team includes medical oncologists, endocrinologists, radiation oncologists and other cancer experts who meet as a tumor board to create for each patient an individualized treatment plan. Additionally, Moffitt patients have access to therapists, pain management specialists and other supportive care professionals who can help them through the physical and emotional challenges involved with undergoing cancer treatment.

If you’d like to learn more about adrenal carcinoma or discuss your treatment options with a Moffitt physician, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form. No referral is necessary to schedule an appointment.