Wednesday, January 03, 2018 by Janine Acero
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare and often aggressive cancer caused by a tumor in the outer layer of the adrenal gland called the cortex. The adrenal glands play an important role in the endocrine system, which is the system that produces and regulates hormones that control metabolism and blood pressure. ACC may trigger excessive production of these hormones.
There are two types of adrenocortical carcinoma:
Most tumors on the adrenal glands are not cancerous. Only five to 10 percent of adrenal tumors are malignant.
ACC can produce the hormones cortisol, aldosterone, estrogen, or testosterone, as well as other hormones. In women, the tumor often releases these hormones, which can lead to male characteristics.
Cortisol helps the body use sugar, protein, and fats. Having too much of this hormone may cause:
Symptoms of increased aldosterone are the same as symptoms of low potassium:
You may be at a high risk of developing ACC if you:
The symptoms in children are different. An increase in male sex hormones can cause:
An excess in female sex hormones can cause:
Children under the age of five are at higher risk of ACC. However, it is a rare cancer, which means having one or more risk factors does not guarantee its development.
Adrenocortical cancer can spread to other parts of the body including the lungs, liver, or bones.
Most adrenal gland tumors are not related to family history, but some are linked to genetic defects. Therefore, there is no concrete prevention plan for ACC. However, there are certain foods that heal adrenal glands. These are ones that are rich in:
The primary treatment for ACC is surgical removal of the tumor and the surrounding tissue in the adrenal gland. Depending on the stage of your cancer, these are other treatments available:
Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare but aggressive cancer caused by a tumor in the adrenal cortex. ACC triggers the excessive production of hormones like cortisol, aldosterone, estrogen, or testosterone.
Symptoms of ACC include excessive hair growth, enlarged sex organs, and obesity.
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