What are Virilizing Adrenal Tumours?
Virilizing Adrenal tumours are tumours of the adrenal gland. The adrenal glands are present at the top of each kidney and produce a number of hormones that help to regulate metabolism, the immune system, blood pressure, stress response, and other important functions. Virilizing adrenal tumours are rare and are associated with adrenal cancer. Virilizing adrenal tumours produces and secretes excess androgens (testosterone). Patients often complain of increased facial hair growth, increased muscle mass, acne, and amenorrhea (lack of menstruation), a condition called virilization. It is a condition in which a woman develops masculine characteristics.
Disease Etiology (Causes)
The main cause is an androgen (testosterone; male hormone) secreting adrenal tumours and increased adrenal cell division. Virilization is more noticeable in women.
Signs and Symptoms
- Hirsutism (increased facial hair growth in females)
- Amenorrhea (cessation of menstruation)
- Increased muscle mass in females
- Hoarse voice
- Infertility in males
Diagnosis and Treatment
- Blood and urine tests to estimate adrenal hormonal levels.
- Imaging techniques like CT-Scan, MRI, PET-Scan, and USG to assess the site, size, and extent of the tumour.
- Treatment options include hormonal therapy with estradiol and progesterone to treat the symptoms of amenorrhea and facial hair, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Type of surgery depends upon the extent and staging of the tumour. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted drug therapy are other advanced options. Choosing the right option depends on the stage of cancer and the desire to maintain the reproductive system.
What Support can we Give for Virilizing Adrenal Tumours?
Virilizing Adrenal Tumours 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. So, 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 rare cancer such as Virilizing Adrenal Tumours 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!
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