The adrenal glands are the pair of small endocrine glands located above the kidneys. They respond to signals from the nervous system and secrete hormones that regulate stress. The adrenal glands also produce hormones that help maintain metabolism as well as distinguish male and female physical and sexual characteristics.
There are two varieties of tumors that can proliferate on the adrenal glands. Most growths are benign and symptoms are treatable. Malignant adrenal tumors are rare, and generally grow as a result of metastasizing cancer that originated in a different organ.
People with certain genetic conditions are at a higher risk for developing adrenal tumors. These include:
Adrenal gland tumors do not always present the same group of symptoms, and may also not cause any symptoms at all. Nevertheless, the following symptoms may be warning signs:
Your doctor can detect the presence of adrenal tumors in the following ways:
A Diagnosis of an Adrenal Tumor
After examining the results of one or more of these tests, your doctor may inform you that you have an adrenal tumor. Treatment is based on where the tumor is located, the size and if it is malignant.
The primary types of treatment for adrenal tumors include:
Learn more about surgery for adrenal conditions at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.