Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare cancer that forms in the outer layer
of the adrenal glands. These glands, which are near the front side of the
kidneys, produce hormones such as different forms of steroids. These hormones control
several body functions, including blood pressure, response to stress, and
Adrenocortical carcinoma typically affects children younger than 4 and older than 13. These tumors, which frequently secrete hormones and may cause patients to develop masculine traits (regardless of gender), can spread to the kidneys, lungs, bones and brain. Many patients often have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, an inherited
condition that predisposes them to many types of cancer.
Children and adolescents with adrenocortical carcinoma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through our Solid Tumor Center. Continue reading to learn more about adrenocortical carcinoma or visit the Rare Tumors Treatment Program homepage to learn about our expertise and treatment options.
The most common symptoms of adrenocortical carcinoma include a palpable
abdominal mass and adrenocortical hormone overproduction. In boys this hormonal
overproduction can cause:
In girls, it can cause:
In addition to a
complete medical history and physical examination, adrenocortical carcinoma is
After all tests are
completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.
Adrenocortical carcinoma is treated with:
treatment may include artificial hormones that block the masculinizing effects
of the tumor.
If recurrence occurs, adequate surgical removal is associated with
improved survival compared to patients whose tumors cannot be surgically
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