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Adrenal Cancer Treatments


Treatment depends on the stage of the tumor and your overall health. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you.

The following methods are used to treat cancer of the adrenal cortex:

Adrenalectomy Surgery to Remove the Tumor

Surgery to remove the adrenal tumor. This is the first treatment approach for about 75 % of all cases. The doctor will also need to remove any surrounding tissues or lymph nodes that contains cancer cells.

Radiation therapy and Chemotherapy

These treatments tend to be less effective in treating this type of cancer. They are most often used if the cancer has spread. Chemotherapy may also be used if there is a high chance the cancer will come back.

Other Therapies

  • Mitotane —is the drug most often used for this type of cancer. It blocks hormone production by the adrenal gland. It also destroys adrenal cancer cells. This drug does have serious side effects.
    • Especially helpful in treating functional tumors of the adrenal cortex
  • Other hormone blocking drugs may be given if mitotane does not work.
  • Research of new drug and radiation therapies are under way. This includes gene and immunotherapy. Your doctor may advise you to participate in one of these trials.

If treatment is successful you will still need to be screened for reoccurrence of the cancer on a periodic basis.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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