How are Adrenal Gland Cancers Treated?

The treatment you receive depends on the type and stage of adrenal gland cancer found. Treatment could include surgery, radiation, cancer drugs (chemotherapy) or drugs to control the release of hormones.

Surgery for Adrenal Cancer

Benign or cancerous adrenal tumors are removed using adrenalectomy (surgery to remove the whole gland). It is controversial whether surgery should be done laparoscopically when an adrenal cancer is suspected. Laparoscopic surgery is when surgery is done with thin, tube like instruments that allow several small incisions to be made, rather than one large incision. Some experts recommend open surgery for adrenal cancers. Surgical approach is important to discuss with your physician. Follow-up chemotherapy may be needed if cancer cells are found.

It’s important to know that adrenal surgery is complex. It helps to choose a surgeon who has significant experience with surgery in the area around the kidneys and adrenal glands. Talk with a few surgeons before you choose one to work with.