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Adrenal cancer, also called adrenocortical carcinoma, is a malignant tumor in the adrenal gland. It can be very large.
It often manifests with the symptoms of Cushing disease (swollen face, skin manifestations, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, hirsutism, etc.) due to excessive secretion of corticosteroid hormones.
This cancer is rare, but potentially aggressive when discovered at an advanced stage. When the disease is localized in the adrenal gland, the chances of cure are good.
Treatment is complex, requiring a multidisciplinary team. It mainly involves removal of the adrenocortical carcinoma.
During the operation, the surgeon evaluates the extent of the tumor. Depending on the situation, it may be necessary to remove other organs adjacent to the adrenal gland (such as a kidney or the spleen). This surgery is usually performed by laparotomy (an opening through the stomach) to facilitate access to the tumor and reduce the risk of it spreading.