Where Does Adrenal Cancer Spread?

Adrenal cancer is a rare form of cancer that originates in the adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys. While it may not be as well-known as other types of cancer, it can still be a serious and life-threatening disease. 

One of the most significant concerns for those diagnosed with adrenal cancer is where the cancer may spread. In this blog article, we will explore the various areas of the body that adrenal cancer can spread to, as well as the symptoms and treatment options for this condition.

What causes adrenal cancer?

The exact cause of adrenal cancer is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a result of genetic mutations or alterations in the DNA of the cells in the adrenal gland. These mutations can cause the cells to grow and divide uncontrollably, leading to the development of a tumour. Certain genetic disorders, such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, may also increase the risk of developing adrenal cancer. Additionally, exposure to radiation or certain chemicals may increase the risk of developing adrenal cancer, although these cases are rare.

Adrenal cancer symptoms

Adrenal cancer symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Mass or lump in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hormonal imbalances such as excessive hair growth, irregular periods, or high blood pressure

However, many cases of adrenal cancer do not show symptoms until the cancer has advanced, making early detection and diagnosis crucial for successful treatment.

Where does adrenal cancer spread?

Adrenal cancer can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, particularly to the nearby organs such as the liver, lungs, and lymph nodes. It can also spread to bones, particularly in the spine and ribs, and to distant organs like the brain. The spread of adrenal cancer to other parts of the body can cause a range of symptoms depending on the location of the metastases, such as pain, weakness, or neurological symptoms. The likelihood of metastasis and the speed of its progression can depend on the stage of the cancer at diagnosis, the size and location of the tumour, and other factors like the age and overall health of the individual.

How is adrenal cancer treated?

Adrenal cancer treatment depends on the stage of the cancer and the individual’s overall health. Surgery is the main treatment for localized adrenal cancer, and it involves removing the affected adrenal gland, nearby lymph nodes, and any other affected tissues. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used in combination with surgery, particularly in cases where the cancer has spread. Hormone therapy is used to treat hormone-secreting tumours. Additionally, clinical trials and targeted therapies may be recommended for certain individuals with advanced adrenal cancer. Regular follow-up care is important to monitor for any recurrence of the cancer.

Get in touch

If you have been diagnosed with adrenal cancer, it is important to seek out medical professionals who are experienced in managing and treating this condition. Birmingham HPB is a leading clinic for treatment of cancerous conditions, with a dedicated team of expert medical professionals

We offer comprehensive care, from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up, and can provide a second opinion on the most appropriate course of action for your specific situation. Contacting us can help ensure that you receive the best possible care and treatment for your adrenal cancer.