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Adrenal gland

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If adrenal gland cancer spreads

Cancer cells have the potential to spread from the adrenal gland to other parts of the body where they can grow into new tumours. This process is called metastasis. The tumours are also called metastasis (singular) or metastases (plural). Metastases are also called secondary tumours.

Understanding the usual progression of cancer helps the doctor to predict its probable course, plan treatment and anticipate further care.

The most common sites where adrenal gland cancer spreads are:

  • regional lymph nodes
  • the other adrenal gland
  • kidney
  • diaphragm
  • pancreas
  • spleen
  • large blood vessels
  • peritoneum (the membrane that lines the walls of the abdomen and pelvis, and covers and supports most of the abdominal organs)
  • lung
  • liver
  • bone

Metastases to the adrenal gland

The adrenal gland is a common site for metastases. Spread of other cancers to the adrenal gland is more common than primary cancer of the adrenal gland. Cancers that may spread to the adrenal gland include:

  • lung
  • breast
  • malignant melanoma
  • colorectal


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