Adrenal tumors are common. Even though the majority of adrenal tumors are benign, some may overproduce hormones that contribute to disease (such as Cushing’s syndrome, hyperaldosteronism, and pheochromocytoma), and rarely adrenal tumors may represent cancer. We recommend that all adrenal tumors undergo investigation to assess for hormonal overproduction and the potential for cancer. These investigations are conducted by expert adrenal endocrinologists using blood and urine testing and imaging techniques. When indicated, adrenal tumors may be surgically removed.
Adrenal cancers are rare. However, adrenal cancers typically grow fast and overproduce many hormones that result in disease. Therefore, we recommend an aggressive and multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating adrenal cancers. This is achieved through a team of endocrinologists, surgeons, and oncologists who all have a specialty in adrenal cancer and comprise the Adrenal Cancer Group initiative. Together, this initiative provides patients with an expedited diagnostic work up and a cutting edge treatment plan. Treatment plans include established therapies for adrenal cancer (such as surgery and mitotane), as well as new chemotherapies and experimental options. In addition, the group routinely recommends novel genetic testing to assist with diagnosis and prognosis. A key characteristic of this multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional group is a dedication to research to develop better treatments for adrenal cancer and improve outcomes for patients with this disease.