10 Adrenal Cancer Symptoms

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
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The adrenal glands are two small glands that are located on the top of each kidney. They are responsible for the productions of certain hormones, including adrenaline, aldosterone, and cortisol. The hormones that they produce are important for many aspects of the functioning of the body.

As with the rest of the body, though, the adrenal glands can develop cancer. Symptoms are not usually felt until growing tumors begin to put pressure on the glands.

As with other types of cancer, it is important to catch it early to improve the chances of making a recovery. Below are just a few of the signs that you should look out for.

Symptom #1: Enlarged Penis in Boys

When adrenal cancer occurs in boys that are still developing, it can have a direct impact on their physical characteristics, particularly the size of their penis. This is down to excess androgen production, which is responsible for giving people typically masculine features. It is more noticeable in growing boys than it is in grown men.

Developing boys can also develop breasts beyond normal sizes. It can also cause the excess growth of hair, including pubic hair and facial hair. Such noticeable characteristics should encourage anybody to see a medical professional for advice. Catching cancer early increases the patient’s chance of making a recovery.

Adrenal Cancer

Symptom #2: Enlarged Clitoris in Girls

The clitoris is a small organ located just inside the inner lips of female genitalia. It is mostly responsible for giving women pleasure during sex and is the female equivalent of the glans penis. It usually remains very small in young girls, only growing larger as they reach sexual maturity.

In cases of adrenal cancer, the clitoris can become enlarged considerably more so than is usual, even in young girls. It is also often the case that young girls with adrenal cancer will enter into maturity at a younger age than usual. They can also experience an excess growth of hair, including facial hair.

Symptom #3: Facial Hair in Women

It is not usual for women to have lots of hair on their faces. While there usually is some hair, it is only very light, short, and barely noticeable. In cases of adrenal cancer, however, it is not unusual for women to grow a considerable amount of hair on their faces.

This can be very embarrassing for the patient, although their appearance may not be their greatest concern at this point. Women with adrenal cancer can also find that their voice deepens as a result of the condition. These are symptoms that should definitely be checked out if you have not done so already.

Adrenal Cancer

Symptom #4: Men Growing Breasts

Breasts contain the mother’s milk that is to be fed to babies. The milk is packed full of important nutrients that help babies to grow. All mammals feed young babies in this way and in humans, the baby is likely to continue to drink their mother’s milk for several years.

In humans, women have evolved to have breasts. This is quite standard for mammals. In cases of adrenal cancer, however, the hormone imbalances can result in male patients developing breasts. These symptoms can be the result of various causes and it is something that you should arrange to get checked out.

Symptom #5: Irregular Periods

Menstruation is a cycle that helps ensure that women are usually ready and able to conceive. It happens more or less monthly, but not strictly so, and there can be some occasions where menstruation might occur later or sooner than usual. If periods become irregular every month, though, then it is an indicator that something might be wrong. This can also refer to how heavy the menstrual flow is.

There are several reasons why this can happen, one of which is menopause. Another potential cause is adrenal cancer. It is best to be sure of just what the cause is and you can find out by making an appointment with a doctor.

Adrenal Cancer

Symptom #6: Abdominal Pain

Patients suffering from adrenal cancer may experience abdominal pain. Usually, this symptom appears late on the development of the disease and it is associated with advanced stages and even with metastasis to other tissues.

An abdominal mass might also be palpable in the tumor has grown enough. This abdominal growth can cause abdominal tenderness as well. If you are experiencing this symptom, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Symptom #7: Weight Changes

Depending on if the adrenal cancer is hormonally active or not, patients may experience different symptoms. In non-functional variants, patients tend to lose weight unintendedly. This is a common finding for many malignancies and should be assessed by a professional as soon as possible.

On the other hand, patients with a hormonally active variant may experience weight gain as a manifestation of Cushing Syndrome. The weight gain is usually more noticeable in the face (moon face) and in the back (buffalo hump), but it can be seen anywhere in the body.

Adrenal Cancer

Symptom #8: Back Pain

This is a non-specific symptom associated with this condition and it is usually seen as a late sign of the disease. Due to their anatomical location, adrenal gland cancer may cause back pain.

This could be associated with advanced stages and even metastasis but not necessarily. As with any malignancy, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to have a better chance of recovery.

Symptom #9: Abdominal Fullness

Patients suffering from adrenal cancer may experience bloating and abdominal fullness.

It is associated with the tumor growing and pressing into other structures nearby in the abdomen. This is a non-specific symptom that can be seen in many conditions.

Symptom #10: Weakness

Patients suffering from adrenal cancer may experience muscle weakness.

In this particular case, the patients exhibit a profound weakness that is not improved by rest. This finding can be associated with hormonal imbalances, electrolyte imbalances due to associated hyperaldosteronism, and/or hypoglycemia.

Adrenal Cancer

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