Adrenal Cancer Treatment & Therapy Options
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Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) has state-of-the-art hospitals across the United States that offer adrenal cancer treatment. In addition to the surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy our adrenal cancer patients receive, we offer evidence-based supportive therapies to help reduce treatment-related side effects and help patients stay strong and nutritionally fortified throughout treatment.
Below you’ll find some general information regarding the adrenal cancer treatments we use to fight the disease and support our patients’ quality of life.
Adrenal Cancer Surgery
For all stages of adrenal cancer, surgery is used to treat the disease. Our experienced surgical oncologists are skilled in performing surgery to remove adrenal glands and tumors. This procedure is known as an adrenalectomy.
Whenever possible, we try to remove small or benign (noncancerous) adrenal tumors using a laparoscope. This less invasive treatment for adrenal cancer requires small incisions in the abdomen to insert a small fiber optic scope. Using the scope and long instruments, surgical oncologists access and remove adrenal tumors. Laparoscopic adrenalectomies may allow for:
- Less pain
- Less scarring
- Less trauma to the body
- A shorter stay in the hospital
- A more rapid recovery
More extensive surgery may be required in other cases to remove adrenal glands and tumors. Traditional (open surgery) approaches to adrenalectomies include the following:
- Posterior surgery – The tumor is removed through an incision made in the back, just above the kidneys. This type of adrenal cancer surgery works well for treating small, benign adrenal tumors.
- Transabdominal surgery – An incision is made through the abdomen for this procedure. Surgical oncologists inspect nearby tissues and organs, while removing the adrenal tumor and gland(s). The surgical oncologist can remove other cancerous tissues found during the inspection at this time as well.
- Thoracoabdominal surgery – A long incision that extends from the chest to the abdomen may be necessary to remove large, cancerous adrenal tumors. This procedure allows surgical oncologists a broader view of the surrounding tissues and organs in order to assess the potential spread and growth of the cancer.
Adrenal Cancer Radiation Therapy
For advanced stage adrenal cancer, radiation therapy is often given following surgery to remove the cancer. The radiation can:
- Treat tumors that cannot be removed during surgery
- Decrease the risk of tumor recurrence
- Treat areas the cancer may have spread (metastasized) to such as the brain, liver or bones
Some of the sophisticated radiation therapy delivery systems utilized at CTCA include TomoTherapy® and Trilogy™. These advanced forms of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) pinpoint radiation treatment to hard-to-reach tumors, minimizing harm to surrounding healthy tissue and organs. We also employ stereotactic radiosurgery, an extremely precise form of radiation treatment used to target metastatic tumors in the brain.
Adrenal Cancer Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery and radiation therapy to treat advanced stage adrenal cancer. Chemotherapy drugs work to either destroy cancer cells outright, or impede their ability to grow and reproduce.
At our hospitals, medical oncologists work closely with adrenal cancer patients to determine if chemotherapy is an appropriate treatment option. Among the chemotherapy drugs used to treat adrenal cancer are:
Adrenal cancer chemotherapy can cause several side effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, neuropathy, hand and foot rashes, sleepiness and low blood cell counts. As part of our comprehensive adrenal cancer treatment program at CTCA, we help patients cope with side effects through both medical and natural therapies. For example, our doctors can prescribe medication to prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy.
Additionally, our naturopathic oncology providers recommend homeopathic medicines, vitamins, minerals and herbs for side effects such as diarrhea, nausea and fatigue. Our clinical oncology dietitians also help patients deal with loss of appetite by providing solutions and treatment to help them receive essential nourishment.
Therapies to Help You Through Your Cancer Fight
We offer several therapies to help you have a better quality of life as you go through treatment for adrenal cancer at CTCA. The therapies below can help you stay strong and focused on your fight. They also help you prevent or minimize treatment side effects.
- Nutrition Therapy
- Pain Management
- Naturopathic Medicine
- Mind-Body Medicine
- Oncology Rehabilitation
- Spiritual Support
- Chiropractic Care
- Survivorship Support
All of the doctors and other clinicians who form your dedicated cancer care team at CTCA will work with you to develop and implement an individualized adrenal cancer treatment plan tailored to your specific diagnosis, personal needs and preferences.