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A sign is something that can be observed and recognized by a doctor or healthcare professional (for example, a rash). A symptom is something that only the person experiencing it can feel and know (for example, pain or tiredness). The signs and symptoms of adrenal gland cancer can also be caused by other health conditions. It is important to have any unusual symptoms checked by a doctor.
The signs and symptoms of adrenal gland cancer depend on:
The signs and symptoms of a functioning adrenal gland tumour depend on the hormone it overproduces.
Hypercortisolism, known as Cushing’s syndrome, can be caused by adrenal gland tumours that overproduce cortisol. Cushing’s syndrome can also be caused by a pituitary glandpituitary glandThe main endocrine system gland at the base of the brain that produces hormones to control other glands and many body functions, including growth. tumour or drugs given to treat other health problems. Most people with a functioning adrenal tumour present with Cushing’s syndrome. Signs and symptoms may include:
Hyperaldosteronism, known as Conn’s syndrome, is caused by adrenal gland tumours that overproduce aldosterone. Signs and symptoms may include:
Adrenogenital syndrome is caused by adrenal gland tumours that overproduce the sex hormones androgen (male hormone) and estrogen (female hormone).
Functioning pheochromocytoma tumours may produce too much epinephrine or norepinephrine. High levels of these hormones over a long period of time can cause serious health problems. Signs and symptoms may include:
Non-functioning adrenal gland tumours do not produce hormones, so there are no signs and symptoms related to excess hormones in the body. Non-functioning tumours have few early signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms occur as the tumour grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body and may include:
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The Canadian Cancer Society’s peer support program is a telephone support service that matches cancer patients and their caregivers with specially trained volunteers.