Adrenocortical Carcinoma

Symptoms of Adrenocortical Carcinoma include headaches, insomnia, and fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, you may want to seek medical help. There are many treatment options available.


Symptoms of Adrenocortical Carcinoma include pain in the abdomen, swelling of the arms or legs, and increased weight. The disease can also affect sexual function. The disease is rare, affecting less than a million people per year in the United States.

Adrenocortical carcinoma is usually diagnosed through a physical examination and blood tests. In addition, imaging tests can look for cancer cells. A CT scan or x-ray can be performed to make a detailed picture of the inside of the body.

The tumor is usually removed with surgery. The surgeon may also remove nearby lymph nodes.

Other treatments may include radiation or hormone therapy. These treatments may help to kill cancer cells. They also help to control the symptoms of the disease. Some people need long-term hormone medicines. In addition, they may be required to take medications to reduce the production of cortisol.

Treatment may also include immunotherapy, which uses the immune system to fight cancer. These drugs attack cancer cells instead of normal cells.

Adrenocortical carcinoma can be treated by surgeons and endocrinologists. In addition, there are treatments that use substances made in the laboratory to help the immune system fight cancer.

Other treatments may include radiation therapy and chemotherapy. These treatments can help to kill cancer cells and control the symptoms. However, radiation therapy may have side effects. Chemotherapy can also cause side effects.

Adrenocortical carcinoma may also spread to other parts of the body. It can grow to the liver or lung. This may lead to complications and may be fatal.

The best treatment for adrenocortical carcinoma is to remove the tumor with surgery. The surgeon can remove one or both adrenal glands. This may be the only way to treat the disease. However, some people do not respond to this treatment. The prognosis of the disease depends on the size of the tumor and whether it is a malignant or benign tumor.

Adrenocortical carcinoma affects the adrenal cortex, which is a part of the body that regulates blood pressure. The adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney. The medulla is another part of the body that produces hormones.


ACC is a rare, aggressive endocrine neoplasm, which accounts for less than 0.02% of all malignant tumors. It occurs in one to two persons per million per year. Although it is not associated with a high incidence of mortality, it is a challenging disease to diagnose. Earlier detection has improved clinical outcomes in some cases.

Most patients with adrenocortical carcinomas are diagnosed early, but the overall survival rate is poor. The 5-year survival rate for patients with the early-stage disease is 45-60 percent. For patients with advanced disease, the 5-year survival rate is 10-25%. It is estimated that one-third of patients with ACC will have distant metastases.

Adrenocortical adenomas can be difficult to distinguish from ACCs, and it is important to perform biochemical testing before a biopsy. Urinary steroid metabolomics can be a valuable tool in establishing the diagnosis of adrenocortical malignancy. However, it is not widely available. SF-1 is a good immunohistochemical marker for primary adrenocortical tumors. However, there are few reports of its clinical use.

The presence of MMP-2 protein expression is a useful adjunct to adrenocortical carcinoma diagnosis. This protein is present in elongated stromal cells of the capsule and intra-tumoral vascular network. However, its sensitivity and specificity are relatively low.

Other immunohistochemical markers include SF-1, calretinin, inhibin, Melan A, and chromogranin. The presence of these markers can be used to differentiate between pheochromocytoma and adrenocortical carcinoma. SF-1, calretinin, and inhibin show patchy patterns in the carcinomatous areas. However, the presence of these markers in the absence of peculiar pathological features is not associated with a high Weiss score.

The use of CT in the evaluation of adrenocortical carcinoma is increasing. The tumor is assessed for size, heterogeneity, and necrosis. The tumor may be further investigated by MRI or 18FDG-PET-CT. In addition, a washout CT is sometimes performed to determine whether the tumor is reoccurring.

ACCs are usually nonfunctional, although they may present as large tumors at the time of diagnosis. The tumors produce hormones such as aldosterone, estrogens, and androgens. The hormones produced by nonfunctioning tumors are usually lower than those produced by functioning tumors.

Treatment options

Whether you have been diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma or are concerned about someone you love, it’s important to understand the types of treatment options available. These include radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. You may also want to consider participating in a clinical trial to learn about a new treatment.

Radiation therapy involves using high-energy waves to kill cancer cells. It can be used alone, or in combination with chemotherapy or surgery. The type of radiation therapy you receive depends on the size of the tumor. In most cases, the side effects of radiation therapy disappear once the treatment is complete.

Adrenocortical carcinoma is a type of cancer that can occur in adults and children. It is caused by a number of factors, including inherited diseases and environmental factors. In addition, there are genetic risk factors that can increase your risk of developing the disease.

The adrenal gland is responsible for making hormones that help your body respond to stress. A tumor in the adrenal cortex may cause abnormal hormones, which can lead to signs of disease. In some cases, the tumor may grow into the adrenal gland and cause no symptoms in the early stages.

Adrenocortical carcinoma can be cured if it’s caught in the early stages. However, the disease can spread to other parts of your body. Cancer cells can spread to other areas of your body through blood vessels or lymph vessels. Some of the tests that can be used to detect whether cancer has spread to other parts of your body are a physical examination, a blood test, or a biopsy. These tests may be done before or after treatment. You may also repeat these tests if you need them.

If you have adrenocortical carcinoma, you can take part in a clinical trial to learn more about new treatments. These trials are meant to get information on new treatments and improve the current ones. If you’re interested in participating, you should talk to your doctor about whether you’re eligible for one of these trials.

In some cases, adrenocortical carcinoma may spread to nearby tissues or organs. If this happens, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be used to kill the cancer cells and relieve symptoms. The type of treatment that you receive will depend on the size of the tumor and your overall health.


Despite its rarity, the survival of adrenocortical carcinoma is very poor, with survival rates ranging from less than one year to less than ten years. The main prognostic factors are age at presentation, disease stage, incomplete resection, and function of the tumor.

The median age of patients was 4.1 years. Those with stage I disease had a median overall survival of 24.1 years, whereas those with stage II disease had a median overall survival of 6.1 years. Those with stage III disease had a median overall survival of 3.5 years.

Patients with a higher number of neutrophils-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) showed poorer survival. In this study, the median NLR was 2.03, and nine patients had NLR > 6.02. This was compared to the median NLR of 6.02 in nine cases of non-malignant adrenal tumors. The results suggest that the higher the NLR, the higher the incidence of malignancy. The association between NLR and tumor size is also investigated in this study. Spearman’s correlation coefficients were calculated to examine the relationship between the NLR and tumor size.

Overall survival was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier product limit estimator. This was calculated from the date of the first surgical intervention. The median overall survival for patients with censored observations was 2.7 years. The data were restricted by the small sample size and the retrospective nature of the study. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS v.25. The P value was considered to be statistically significant if the P value was 0.05 or less.

The clinical management of advanced adrenocortical carcinoma has been adapted from adult practice. Open surgery is the most common approach. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is also used. Surgical expertise improves the outcome of a resection. The most common distant metastases are lung and liver. The presence of distant metastases is an important prognostic factor. The presence of macroscopic residual disease and incomplete resection also have a negative impact on survival.

Survival of adrenocortical adenoma and carcinoma in children is better than in adults. Survival rates for pediatric ACC range from 50 to 90%. Several case series have shown that pediatric patients with adrenocortical tumors present with more symptoms of hormonal overproduction than adult patients.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.).

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.).

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.).

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health.

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z.

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.).

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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