Adrenal cancer is a rare disease that originates in the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and consist of two parts that function separately: the outer layer (cortex) and the inner area (medulla).
How is adrenal cancer found? It is hard to find adrenal cancer early. In most cases the tumor has grown quite large before it is found. In adults, these tumors may be found early by accident, for example when a CT scan is done for some other health problem. The symptoms of adrenal cancer can be caused by either the hormones they make or because the tumor has grown large and is pressing on nearby organs. If you or your child has any of the symptoms below, see a doctor right away. Signs and symptoms of adrenal cancer in about half of people with adrenal cortex cancer, symptoms are caused by the hormones made by the tumor. In the other half, symptoms occur because the tumor has grown so large that it presses on nearby organs. Symptoms caused by the hormones androgen or estrogen. Symptoms are easier to notice if the tumor is making the hormone that is not usually there.
A variety of symptoms can occur with adrenal cancer including:
- Abdominal pain, cramping or fullness
- Changes in sexual desire and function
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Excess hair growth
- Feeling very thirsty
- Frequent urination
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood changes
- Voice deepening
- Weakness (loss of strength)
- Weight gain, especially in the abdomen, chest and face