What is a Feminizing Adrenal Tumor?Feminizing adrenal tumors are tumors that result from the uncontrolled division of adrenal cells and are responsible for the overproduction of the hormone estrogen with or without the overproduction of adrenal hormones. Feminizing adrenal tumors are predominant in males.
What are Adrenal Glands?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.
What is Estrogen Hormone?Estrogen is primarily a female sex hormone that helps to develop and maintain a woman’s reproductive system. Further, it helps to develop secondary sexual characteristics in women such as the development of breasts and armpit and pubic hair.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause, however, a link has been found between the presence of various syndromes such as multiple endocrine neoplasias, Carney syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and the development of a feminizing adrenal tumor.
Signs and SymptomsFeminizing adrenal tumors are rare tumors and usually develop in males. The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms.
Symptoms of Feminizing Adrenal Tumors in Males
- Enlargement of the breast in males (female-like breasts in males)
- Lower production of sexual hormones in males
Symptoms of Feminizing Adrenal Tumors in Females
- Lower production of sexual hormones in females
- Higher blood pressure
- Enlargement of the uterus
- Bleeding from vagina in between the 2 menstrual periods
DiagnosisThe 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