What are tumors of the adrenal glands? They can be described as a focal proliferation of adrenal cells. Almost all of these tumors are benign & they occur rarely.
The exact causes of adrenal tumors are unknown. Presumably, a certain role is performed by heredity. The adrenal glands are able to produce hormones that regulate metabolism, blood pressure, female & male sex hormones. The main clinical manifestations of an adrenal tumor depend on which hormone it produces in excess.
The following symptoms occur with tumors of the adrenal gland:
- Increased blood pressure. It is noted in a tumor that produces the hormone aldosterone. This hormone is responsible for the mineral metabolism – aldosterone. In addition to increasing blood pressure, a person may be disturbed by feelings of heart failure, muscle weakness, frequent urination at night. It is also noted in a tumor that produces an increased amount of adrenaline & norepinephrine – pheochromocytoma. Arterial pressure rises paroxysmally. The frequency of seizures varies: from 10-15 per day to one for several months. Appear headache, sweating, a sense of fear, irritability, palpitations, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, chest, blanching or redness of the face.
- Violation of sexual development. It concerns a lot premature sexual development in boys & girls or, conversely, its delay. It is noted for tumors that are responsible for producing sex hormones.
- Changing the appearance of men & women. Women: coarsening of the voice, excessive growth of hair on the body (on the face, chest), stopping menstruation, reducing mammary glands, sometimes baldness. In men, the main symptom is a breast enlargement (gynecomastia). In addition, the hair growth on the face decreases, the potency & sexual attraction decrease as well. It is noted for tumors that produce sex hormones.
A study of the content of adrenal hormones in venous blood & urine may show some results. If there are paroxysmal pressure rises, it is better to collect blood and urine for analysis during an attack or immediately after it. In some cases, special samples are required. The essence of the sample is as follows: it is necessary to donate blood to hormones, then, take the medicine and to take the analysis again after a while.
Sometimes, the test means the measurement of blood pressure before and after taking the drug, such as Prednisone or another similar drug from pharmacies. To determine the content of adrenal hormones in the blood more accurately, perform selective catheterization of the adrenal veins.
To assess the size of the adrenal glands, ultrasound, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging are used. The main surgical treatment is the removal of the adrenal gland. In cases of malignant tumors after surgery, radiation therapy & special medicines should be taken.
After performing the surgical intervention, doctors often prescribe hormone replacement therapy – a constant intake of synthetic hormones of the adrenal glands.