Adrenal cancer is a malignancy starts in adrenal gland. As an important endocrine organ, adrenal gland is just next to kidney. Though it is small, it is very important to the whole body’s circulation.
While the tumor develops in the adrenal gland is quite different in size. Normally, a tumor in adrenal gland with a diameter less than 3cm is a small tumor. According to the records, the smallest one can be less than 1 cm and a bigger one can reach to 10-30 cm.
Also, the shapes of adrenal tumor are various. It may look like a bean, a peach, a plum, an apple, Hami melon, etc.
The incidence of adrenal cancer is high and keeps increasing year by year. Meanwhile, when a case develops to late stage, it will be more difficult for the doctors to perform treatments.
Types of adrenal cancer
Adrenocortical cancer:As a malignancy develops in adrenal cortex, it is rare to see. It not only destroys normal adrenal tissues, but also encroaches on adipose tissue around, as well as the kidney on the same side.
What causes adrenal cancer?
Currently the cause of adrenal cancer is still unclear. But it is thought to be related to the risk factors below:
Adrenal tuberculosis Chronic hypoadrenia, which develops after treatment for adrenal tuberculosis, would cause adrenal cancer.
Auto-immunologic derangementAtrophy of adrenal cortex, arising of sudden autoimmune disorder is thought to be the most common cause of adrenal cancer.
Metastatic cancerMetastases from other malignancies to adrenal gland take up 26%-50% of all adrenal cancer. For example, late stage gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, thyroid cancer or melanoma may cause metastatic adrenal cancer.
Clinical symptoms of adrenal cancer
Moon face, which means that the face is round and big because of swelling;
Thinness of limbs, legs and arms become thinner;
Tried and stiff and weary, exhausted;
Lumber and back pain;
Change of metabolism;
Loss of hair;
Hypertension or paroxysmal hypertension accompanied by short of breath, headache, sweating, thrilling of extremities etc.
The diagnostic methods of adrenal cancer
Blood and urine tests;
CT scan can further diagnosis;
MRI examination plays an important role;
Ultrasound B examination is the primary examination in screening adrenal disease.
Nursing methods of adrenal cancer
Keep a positive attitude;
Patient should keep a positive mind and be confident to come over the disease;
Have a good rest;
Patient shall avoid strenuous physical activities. Generally a patient should have follow-up every 6 months.
Have a balanced and light diet;
Patients should avoid diets that are too salty (including preserved food), too spicy and irritating (like pepper, alcohol, shrimp, crab, etc.), or are polluted (such as rotten, leftover).
For patients who also suffering from renal inadequacy and uremia, they should keep away from beans and bean products, and the intake of greasy food shall be limited.
Positively prevent from infection;
In order to avoid renal inadequacy occurrence, blood pressure should be under controlled at the same time.
The above mentioned items are some daily nursing methods for adrenal cancer. Good daily nursing care can make the habilitation for adrenal cancer patients much easier and faster.
Treatments of adrenal cancer
Surgery.Usually, surgery is used to remove early stage adrenal tumor. But to the patients have bigger tumor and are suffering recurrence and metastases, surgery cannot excise the tumor radically.
Minimally invasive therapy is also applicable to those cases whose tumor cannot remove through surgery or recurs to metastasizes after treatments.
1) Cryotherapy, an approach operated under the guide of CT or ultrasound. It kills tumor cells by inserting freezing needles into tumor through percutaneous puncture, which hurts little normal tissues and relatively safer than the other treatments.
2) Radio-frequency ablation is another therapy by inserting electro probes inside a tumor with high-frequency shock and friction to the tissues. Electric probes create high temperature which would cause protein clotting and necrosis so that the cancer cells are killed accordingly.
3) Radioactive particle implantation, this is a method of putting 125I radioactive particles inside the tumor so as to kill the cancer cells by constantly radiating γ-rays. It actually is an internal radiotherapy for the tumor.
Traditional Chinese medicine(TCM)
Through oral or injecting administration, Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can kill cancer cells, eliminate the tumor gradually. Besides, it can balance Yin & Yang and strengthen the body’s resistance to tumors.