Introduction: What is Adrenal Gland Cancer?
Adrenal glands are a pair of glands situated on top of each kidney. A tumour is formed when the healthy cells in the adrenal cortex or medulla start to grow and multiply abnormally. Adrenal tumours can be benign (that grow but do not spread) or malignant (those with a tendency to spread).
The most commonly occurring adrenal tumours are:
- Adrenocortical carcinoma
Adrenal gland cancer is rare. Though the exact cause of adrenal gland cancer is unknown, several genetic and environmental factors increase one’s risk of developing the condition. Though this cancer can occur at any age, it usually occurs in middle-aged adults.
The signs and symptoms of adrenal gland cancer depend upon its stage and spread and are most often diagnosed during scans performed for other unrelated conditions.
Common symptoms of adrenal gland cancer are:
- A noticeable lump in the abdomen
- Persistent pain in the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Abnormal hormonal levels that cause excessive hair growth
- Feeling full at all times
How is Adrenal Gland Cancer Treated?
Adrenal gland cancer treatment in the UK is usually performed by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, including a surgical oncologist, an endocrinologist, a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist.
Standard treatment options available for adrenal gland cancers include:
This is usually the first line of treatment for adrenal gland cancer, during which the entire gland is removed. This procedure is called adrenalectomy. The surgical oncologist will aim to remove as much cancerous tissue as possible, including any affected lymph nodes and healthy tissues surrounding the cancerous part of the gland. This reduces the risk of recurrence and relapse.
- Radiation therapy
In adrenal gland cancer treatment, radiation therapy is used as an adjuvant therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells after surgery. This reduces the risk of recurrence. Radiation therapy can be external or internal, depending upon the radiation source.
In advanced-stage adrenal gland tumours, radiation therapy may be used before surgery to reduce the tumour size and facilitate easy removal. This is called neoadjuvant therapy.
You may experience some side effects with radiation therapy, including nausea, vomiting, hair loss in the area being treated, fatigue and low blood counts. Speak with your doctor if you have any queries regarding the side effects of radiation therapy during your treatment.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to target and destroy cancer cells. Your doctor will determine the type of drug, regime, and schedule based on your cancer type, stage, grade, and overall health and fitness.
Since chemotherapy drugs cannot differentiate between cancerous and healthy cells, they tend to damage healthy cells, resulting in side effects. The side effects you may experience depend upon the drug used and its dosage. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, and hair loss.
- Hormone therapy
Adrenal gland tumours produce excess hormones, so your doctor may prescribe medications to control the hormonal levels before, during and after treatment. This way, hormone therapy relieves symptoms and improves the quality of life.
How Can Klarity Oncology Help?
A cancer diagnosis can be challenging to process initially. You require the best doctors and cancer care centres, from diagnostic tests to choosing a treatment plan. At Klarity Oncology, we understand the urgency and importance of tailored treatments. So, we connect you with the best oncologists in the UK and provide face-to-face appointments and video consultations.
Reach out to us for tailor-made and personalised treatment plans for your adrenal cancer.
Adrenal Gland Cancer Cost in the UK
The cost of adrenal gland cancer treatment in the UK depends upon several factors such as the type of adrenal cancer, its stage, spread and additional treatments you require for any existing health conditions. Several hospitals and cancer care centres in the UK offer the best treatments for adrenal cancer at affordable rates. There may be a difference in the cost of treatment across various cities. Remember to check with your insurance provider if they would cover the cost of your adrenal cancer treatment.
How is Adrenal Cancer Treatment Cost Calculated?
The cost of your adrenal cancer treatment is calculated on many factors:
- The type and stage of the cancer
- If it is malignant or benign
- Spread of the cancer
- Existing health conditions
- Expertise and experience of the oncologist
- Procedures involved in the treatment plan
- Treatment for side effects
Since the treatment plan for patients is customised, the cost of adrenal gland cancer treatment varies for each patient.
Talk to Us
At Klarity Oncology, we aim to redefine cancer care through technology. We can help you find the best possible care for your adrenal cancer with a strong network of the UK’s best oncologists and surgeons. Connect with us today!