Adrenal Cancer Treatment- Cancer/Oncology

What is adrenal cancer?

Adrenal cancer starts in adrenal glands. It is a rare type of cancer which is difficult to identify at an earlier stage; one of those conditions that's hard to spot early. Adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney.

What are the treatment options?

Treatment options for adrenal cancer include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Depending on the patients’ condition and stage of the disease, either one or multiple treatment options are used. An oncologist and a oncosurgeon will be involved in planning the treatment regimen for treatment of adrenal cancer.

  • Surgery: In order to treat all stages of adrenal cancer, surgery is used. Types of surgeries include laparoscopy, posterior surgery, transabdominal surgery, and thoracoabdominal surgery.
    • Laparoscopy: It’s a minimally invasive type of surgery and is used in cases of small tumors. During a laparoscopy, small incisions are made and the surgeon inserts a thin, lighted tube with a camera attached to it via the small incisions.
    • Posterior surgery: During this type of surgery, an incision is made in the back just above the kidneys. This type of surgery is mainly used to remove small, benign adrenal tumors.
    • Transabdominal surgery: During this procedure, an incision is made through the abdomen to remove the adrenal tumor as well as to examine nearby tissues and organs.
    • Thoracoabdominal surgery: This type of surgery is done to remove large, cancerous adrenal tumors. During this procedure, a long incision extending from the chest to the abdomen is made.  This procedure helps to obtain a comprehensive view of the adjacent tissues as well as organs in order to evaluate the probable extent and progression of the cancer.
  • Radiation therapy: It helps to remove tumors which cannot be removed during surgery. During advanced-stage adrenal tumors, radiation therapy might be given following the surgery. Radiation therapy also helps to reduce the risk of tumor recurrence. This therapy also helps to treat other areas where cancer has spread.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy might be used in combination with surgery for the treatment of advanced-stage cancer. The drugs which are used during chemotherapy destroy tumor cells or inhibit with their capability to propagate and replicate.



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About the Author:

Dr. Anand Lakhkar is a physician scientist from India. He completed his basic medical education from India and his postgraduate training in pharmacology from the United States. He has a MS degree in pharmacology from New York Medical College, a MS degree in Cancer/Neuro Pharmacology from Georgetown University and a PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College where he was the recipient of the Graduate Faculty Council Award for academic and research excellence.  His research area of expertise is in pulmonary hypertension, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular pharmacology.  He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at at prestigious conferences.