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Adrenal tumours

Adrenal tumours - What it is

Adrenal tumours are growths that form in the adrenal glands. You have two adrenal glands, one above each kidney. These glands produce hormones which are important for many bodily functions.

Most adrenal tumours are benign and do not cause any symptoms; these do not require treatment. Some adrenal tumours may be cancerous and need to be surgically removed. 

Sometimes, both benign and cancerous adrenal tumours may secrete high levels of certain hormones that can cause health problems. These hormones include aldosterone, cortisol, adrenaline/noradrenaline or male hormones. In such cases, treatment may include surgery or medications.

Adrenal tumours - Symptoms

Small, benign adrenal tumours usually cause no symptoms. Overproduction of hormones by adrenal tumours may cause symptoms such as:
  • Aldosterone: high blood pressure, low potassium levels
  • Cortisol: weight gain, thin skin which bruises easily, high blood pressure, high glucose levels or diabetes mellitus, low potassium levels
  • Adrenaline / noradrenaline: headaches, heart palpitations, panic attacks, turning pale, high blood pressure
  • Male hormones: Women may notice increased body and facial hair, acne and male pattern hair loss


Adrenal tumours - How to prevent?

Adrenal tumours - Causes and Risk Factors

Adrenal tumours - Diagnosis

​Adrenal tumours are usually detected on a CT or MRI scan of the abdomen. Levels of certain hormones in the blood or urine can be measured to determine if the adrenal tumour is overproducing these hormones. 

Adrenal tumours - Treatments

No treatment is required for small, benign adrenal tumours which are not overproducing hormones. 
Very large or cancerous adrenal tumours may require surgical removal. 
Treatment for adrenal tumours that are overproducing certain hormones may include surgery or medications.

Adrenal tumours - Preparing for surgery

Adrenal tumours - Post-surgery care

Adrenal tumours - Other Information

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