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Adrenal Gland Tumors

There are two adrenal glands in the body, each located above the kidneys. They produce many hormones, including aldosterone, glucocorticoids (cortisol), androgens, and catecholamines (adrenaline), that help the body manage stress and regulate mineral and water balance, blood pressure, and glucose metabolism.

Adrenal gland tumors occur in the adrenal glands and may be unilateral (on one of the adrenal glands) or bilateral (on both adrenal glands). These tumors may or may not produce an excess of the hormones normally produced by the adrenal gland. Most of the tumors are non-cancerous (benign).

What are the types of adrenal gland tumors?

Most of the adrenal tumors are found on routine radiological imaging, like a CT scan of the abdomen.

The rest of the adrenal gland tumors produce an excess of one or more of the adrenal gland hormones and are as follows:

  1. Steroid-secreting tumors of the adrenal gland – result in a condition called Cushing syndrome.
  2. Catecholamine – secreting tumors of the adrenal gland called pheochromocytoma.
  3. Aldosterone (mineralocorticoid) – secreting tumors of the adrenal gland results in a condition called primary aldosteronism.
At a Glance

Dr. Reena Thomas, MD

  • Dual American board-certified endocrinologist
  • Author of numerous academic and clinic research
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