Adrenal Cancer

The adrenal glands are small endocrine organs that produce a variety of hormones essential for regulating and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, blood pressure as well as other vital bodily functions. Anatomically they are located within the fat at the top of each of the kidneys and possess a delicate and rich blood supply. Due to the many functions these hormones control, many different disease states can result from decreased or increased production of these hormones. Increased production can result from hyperplasia, which is an abnormal increase in the number of cells, or from a tumor that can produce too much hormone. The diagnosis of these major adrenal disorders is actually simpler now than in the past because of precise diagnostic assays and radiological tests. Once an exact cause has been diagnosed different treatment options are available depending on the pathological process involved. Some disease states are treated medicinally while others may require surgical correction. Surgery of the adrenal gland consists of operative procedures to correct endocrine abnormalities due to over or under production of hormones or to treat malignant diseases. The preferred method now is either a laparoscopic or robotic approach which is normally associated with less blood loss and a shorter hospital stay.

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