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Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer

Author: Sally Rider

Published: 2009-04-01 : (Rev. 2015-12-23)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer is a sub-type of adrenal cancer which shows virtually no cellular differentiation.

Main Digest

Adrenocortical cancers (ACs) are uncommon malignancies that can have protean clinical manifestations. Adrenocortical masses are common; autopsy studies show that approximately 5-15% of the general adult population may have adrenal incidentalomas.

Adrenocortical Cancer Alternate Names:

Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer is a sub-type of adrenal cancer which shows virtually no cellular differentiation. It is not associated with overproduction of hormones as is seen in other types of adrenal carcinomas. Abdominal pain is a presenting symptom.

Regardless of size, approximately 1 per 1500 adrenal tumors is malignant. The evaluation of these incidentalomas, therefore, focuses on:

CT and MRI imaging are used in the diagnosis of adrenal lesions, but a biopsy is required for definite diagnosis.

Radical surgical excision is the treatment for individuals with localized malignancies and remains the only method by which long-term disease-free survival may be achieved.

Median survival for anaplastic adrenal cancer is 5 months as compared with a median survival of 40 months for differentiated adrenal cancers.

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