What is Adrenocortical Carcinoma?
Adrenocortical Carcinoma (ACC) is a rare cancer of the outer layer of the adrenal gland. The outer layer of the adrenal gland is known as the adrenal cortex.
The adrenal cortex helps the regulation of blood pressure and metabolism. It makes hormones such as cortisol and testosterone. ACC causes an over production of these hormones.
What are the symptoms of Adrenocortical Carcinoma?
Adrenocortical Carcinoma has the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling of abdominal fullness
- Pain the the back
- A lump in the abdomen
What causes Adrenocortical Carcinoma?
The cause of Adrenocortical Carcinoma is not understood. There are certain risk factors that may elevate ones chance of getting ACC. Females, people between the ages of 40 and 50, those who have a genetic disease that affects the adrenal gland and those who have another form of aggressive cancer are all at a higher risk for developing ACC. But it a very rare disease.
How is Adrenocortical Carcinoma diagnosed?
Adrenocortical Carcinoma is diagnosed by a physical exam which will include labs to check hormone levels. Blood, saliva and urine will usually be collected for these tests.
Imaging tests including MRI, CT scan and PET scan may also be used.
If a tumor is located then a biopsy of that tumor may be ordered.
Most adrenal tumors are not cancerous.
Throat swab cultures and x-rays may also help in diagnosis.
What are the treatments for Adrenocortical Carcinoma?
Adrenocortical Carcinoma is treated by surgical removal of the tumor. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used depending on the cancer’s progress.