Overview

Adrenal cancer is a rare cancer that begins in the small, triangular glands (adrenal glands) located on top of your kidneys. Adrenal glands produce hormones that give instructions to virtually every organ and tissue in your body.

Adrenal cancer, also called adrenocortical cancer, can occur at any age. But it's most likely to affect children younger than 5 and adults in their 40s and 50s.

Adrenal cancer is often aggressive. When found early, there is a chance for cure. But if the cancer has spread to areas beyond the adrenal gland, cure becomes less likely. Treatment can be used to delay progression or recurrence.

Not all growths that form in the adrenal glands are cancer. Noncancerous (benign) adrenal tumors, such as adenoma or pheochromocytoma, also can develop in the adrenal glands.

Adrenal cancer care at Mayo Clinic

Dec. 08, 2015
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Adrenocortical carcinoma. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  2. Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Cancer of the endocrine system. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 4, 2015.
  3. Jameson JL, et al., eds. Adrenal surgery. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 4, 2015.
  4. Adrenocortical carcinoma treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/types/adrenocortical/patient/adrenocortical-treatment-pdq. Accessed Nov. 4, 2015.
  5. Kerkhofs TMA, et al. Developing treatment for adrenocortical carcinoma. Endocrine-Related Cancer. 2015;22:R325.
  6. Cook AJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 29, 2015.