Adrenaline tumors could be both cancerous or malignant and non-cancerous or benign. However, even benign adrenal tumors could cause symptoms that are uncomfortable and be dangerous.

The adrenal glands remain a part of the endocrinal system, responsible for releasing hormones inside the blood system. Hormones come with a lot of significance in many of our body processes, which includes stress, sexual developments along with puberty, and metabolism. Two adrenal glands, one positioned on top of each of our two kidneys exist in our body. These glands are shaped liked that of triangles with a 3 inch length and ½ inch height. Each of the gland come with two parts – the outer is called the cortex, which makes hormones that impact the metabolism, blood pressure and determines how the body would use the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Malignant or cancerous adrenal tumors

Adrenocortical cancer- These tumors begin from the cortex of our adrenal gland. This kind of cancer is rare, and affects only between 300 and 500 people every year in the USA. There are mainly two types of this adrenocortical cancer:

  • Non-functioning tumors do not produce hormones.
  • Functioning tumors are highly common and make up for around 70% of the adrenal cancers. These tumors make aldosterone, androgens, and cortisol hormones.

Benign or non cancerous adrenal tumors

Adenomas happen to be a type of tumour that is non-cancerous.

Cushing’s Syndrome- Patients suffering from this condition have adrenal gland producing excess amount of cortisol, one kind of hormone that is vital in regulation of heart function, blood pressure and how the body would react to stress. This syndrome is very rare as around 2 to 4 cases are diagnosed in a year per 1 million in the USA.

The causes behind overproduction of cortisol may be:

  • Malignant or benign tumors forming in other organs of the body responsible for producing adrenocorticotropic hormone
  • Using corticosteroid medication for a long time
  • A kind of abnormality in the pituitary gland, also known as Cushing’s disease
  • A non-cancerous tumour on the adrenal gland known as adenoma

Hyperaldosteronism: This condition is caused due to a small tumor developing in the adrenal gland. This tumor makes too high amount of aldosterone or hyperplasia of the adrenal glands.

Risk Factors

The risk of adrenal disorder increases with certain inherited anomalies, like Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2, Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Neurofibromatosis type 1, Paraganglioma syndrome, and Beckwith-Weidemann syndrome.

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Namaste, I am Carol, your health assistant from Cura Hospitals, to answer your queries
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