There are two adrenal glands, one above each kidney in the back of the upper abdomen. Each adrenal gland consists of two layers:

The adrenal cortex, the outer layer of the adrenal, various steroid hormones;
The adrenal PITH or inner layer of the adrenal gland that produces hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Adrenal Cortex

Cancer of the adrenal cortex, also called adrenocortical carcinoma, is discussed below. (Cancer of the adrenal PITH, also called pheochromocytoma is discussed separately.)

The cells in the adrenal cortex of important hormones that help the body to function properly. When cells in the adrenal cortex become cancerous, they may make too much of one or more hormones, which can lead to symptoms such as high blood pressure, weakening of the bones, or diabetes. Cancers that hormones are called functioning tumors. However, many cancers of the adrenal cortex hormones and no additional nonfunctioning tumors.

A person with the following symptoms you should seek medical pain in the abdomen, weight loss without diet and weakness. If there is a functioning tumor may cause symptoms or signs caused by too many hormones, such as high blood pressure, weakening of the bones, or diabetes.

If a patient has symptoms of cancer of the adrenal cortex, the doctor for blood and urine tests to see if the amounts of hormones in the body is normal. A doctor may also be a computed tomography scan, a special x-ray optical using a computer to a picture of the inside of the abdomen. Other special x-rays can also be taken to determine the type of tumor is present.

The risk of recovery (prognosis) of cancer of the adrenal cortex is dependent on how far the cancer has spread (the stage of the disease) and a doctor can perform surgery to remove all cancer.



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