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What is Adrenocortical Carcinoma ?

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   1 min     

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The adrenal cortex is the outer layer of the adrenal gland. A cancerous growth in it causes adrenal cortical carcinoma (ACC), which is a rare disease.  The adrenal glands are placed on the top of the kidneys and are an important key in the endocrine system because it produces and regulates hormones.

The adrenal cortex perched peacefully on the kidneys produces hormones that control and regulates bodily functions like metabolism and blood pressure. The main hormones it produces are cortisol and androgens (male hormone e.g.  Testosterone).  Therefore, this condition may trigger excessive production of these hormones and cause health problems.

What Causes an Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma?

The main cause of ACC is still unknown. But studies suggest it to be secondary cancer. A secondary cancer is a cancer that is formed when another form of cancer spreads to it, in the case of ACC when cancer spreads to the adrenal glands.

Symptoms of an Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma

The symptoms depend on the hormones produced.

1. Cortisol:

  • Weakening of muscles.
  • High blood sugar level.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Bruises on the body.
  • Excessive weight gain.
  • Pain in the chest and abdomen.

2. Testosterone and other androgens:

  • Excessive facial hair.
  • Deep voice in females.

3. Estrogen:

  • Early puberty in children.
  • Breast in males.

4. Aldosterone:

  • Obesity.
  • High blood pressure

Diagnosing an Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma

There are imaging tests to look for a tumor on/in your adrenal glands. These tests may include:

  • CT scan, computed tomography scan
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging
  • PET scan, positron emission tomography scan
Tags:  cancer,

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