What is Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma?
It is rare cancer that is caused by uncontrolled and rapid division of the cells of the outer layer of the adrenal gland, called the adrenal cortex. The adrenal glands are small glands located above each kidney. The function of the adrenal glands is to produce hormones that regulate metabolism, blood pressure, the body’s immune system, and respond to stress. Thus, in patients with adrenal carcinoma, these adrenal glands produce excessive amounts of hormones that disrupt normal metabolism, blood pressure, and normal stress response.
There is no well-known cause; however certain genetic mutations (abnormal changes in genes) are believed to be responsible for the development of adrenal carcinoma.
It is rare cancer and is more common in women than men. The average duration of the development of the disease ranges from 40-50 years. It is also common in children under 5 years of age. The presence of any type of cancer in close relatives or the presence of certain genetic or hereditary diseases is also considered risk factors for the development of carcinoma of the adrenal cortex.
Signs and Symptoms
The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Excessive growth of unwanted facial and body hair in females
- Hoarse voice
- Early signs of puberty in children such as early development of breasts and development of hair in the armpits and genital area
- Excessive Weight gain on the chest and abdomen
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels
- Weakness of leg muscles
- Bruising on the body
The following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Blood test such as Complete blood count (CBC)
- Urine complete examination (Urine test)
- Blood tests to estimate adrenal hormones
- Diagnostic imaging techniques such as USG, CT-scan, MRI, and PET scan can be used to detect the site, size, and extent of the tumor.
- Tumor biopsy
Surgical excision (surgical removal of the adrenal gland tumor along with the removal of some surrounding tissues) and Chemotherapy is the main treatment option.
What support can we give for Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma?
Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. We provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from a rare cancer such as Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:
Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: Donations — Without a Ribbon is grateful when we receive every donation. Giving to Without a Ribbon helps us to provide ongoing support, organise the annual gathering and subsidise the costs of our Warriors attending these conferences. Sponsorship — If you wish to sponsor our charity, please contact us using this form. Volunteering — We are always looking for volunteers to help with different aspects of running our charity. So, if you are looking for volunteer work, please feel free to contact us.