Adrenal Cancer

The adrenal glands make the hormones that control your heart rate and blood pressure, help balance water and salt in the body and regulate protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Cancer of the adrenal glands is rare, affecting only about 200 people a year in the United States.


Connect with a Nurse Navigator

Call 855.255.6181 or request a callback for support, advice, or a second opinion.

Meet Our Team


Symptoms of Adrenal Cancer

Many adrenal tumors cause the body to make more hormones than normal, which, depending on the hormone, can result in weight gain, loss of menstrual period, muscle weakness and thirst. About half of people with malignant adrenal tumors have symptoms of increased metabolic activity.


Diagnosing Adrenal Cancer

Adrenal cancer is diagnosed with imaging and blood and urine tests.

Imaging studies might include:

  • CT Scan
  • MRI Of The Abdomen
  • Adrenal Angiography or Adrenal Venography
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) or MIBG (metaiodobenzylguanidine) Scans

Treating Adrenal Cancer

There are two types of adrenal cancer:

  • Malignant Pheochromocytoma: Starts in the center of the adrenal gland
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma: Starts in the adrenal gland’s outside layer

If the cancer is contained in the adrenal gland, the gland itself is surgically removed. If the cancer has metastasized, or spread outside of the gland, chemotherapy is also used. Because this is such a rare disease, much of the treatment is done through clinical trials.

Cancer Institute services for adrenal cancer are augmented by our board-certified endocrine surgeon, Dr. Carrie Carsello, and membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, which connects patients to some of the world’s most advanced care and research opportunities.

We offer nationally-recognized treatments through our membership in the MSK Cancer Alliance, the country’s premier cancer center. This gives us, and you, access to the latest standards of treatment and advancements from the most recent clinical research trials.


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance

We offer the latest treatments through our ongoing membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alliance, which gives you access to the latest standards of care and clinical trials.

The MSK Alliance

Support at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute offers whatever you and your family need on your journey, whether it’s access to an oncology social worker, a nurse navigator to coordinate your care or the support of our Patient and Family Resource Center.

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute