Treatment of Cushing’s syndrome depends on the part of the body it has affected. I have had patients who exhibit Cushing’s syndrome symptoms due to long-term use of corticosteroid medications. In this case, it would be wrong to advise anyone to stop taking their medications as their adrenal glands have already stopped producing cortisol. A gradual decrease in the medications and giving time for the body to produce cortisol is the only way to help these patients.
Cushing’s syndrome is also caused by adrenal tumors and thus, most doctors advise their patients to proceed for surgery, especially if the tumor is not cancerous.
Chemotherapy has shown significant results in these patients, but a preferable option would be surgery as the tumor tissue responsible for producing the ACTH hormones. If the adrenal glands are removed, a patient has to take long-term hormone replacements. In case when surgery cannot be performed in patients producing excess of ACTH hormones, medications to reduce the production of ACTH hormones are prescribed to these patients.
Surgeries in cancerous tumors may not prove to be a fruitful option as it has high chances of spreading to other parts of the organs as well. There is a high success rate (up to 85%) for tumors that are non-cancerous in nature and if their size is less than one centimeters.
If the tumor is cancerous, a combination of chemotherapy sessions with drug prescriptions works best in this case. Hence, it is extremely vital to detect Cushing’s syndrome in its early stages to increase the success chances of the treatment involved.
Always question your doctor regarding any side effects of medications you are taking and your treatment options. Keep yourself informed on medical breakthroughs and discuss it with your health care provider. An inquisitive mind always seeks a compatible solution and anything regarding health comes with no compromises.
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About Fatmah Azam Ali
Fatmah Azam Ali is a Certified Health Specialist (C.H.S.) and an N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy) candidate in the Clayton College of Natural Health.