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Adrenal Gland Cancer – Tests

Adrenal Gland cancer is a very rare type of cancer that is caused due to the excessive production of hormones in the adrenal gland. The condition can get fatal if not diagnosed in time and therefore one must pay attention to the symptoms and consult and expert if they think they could be suffering from adrenal cancer.
There are a number of ways to diagnose the condition and your expert will carry out necessary tests to check whether you are suffering from the disease. Below mentioned are a few diagnostic measures that doctors may adhere to while checking you for adrenal cancer.

Blood tests: Most doctors will ask you to get blood tests done to check the circulation of hormones in the body. Excessive production of certain hormones like cortisol, estrogen, aldosterone, testosterone are characteristic to the cancer and therefore blood tests serve as a good starting point.

However both malignant and benign tumors cause the over production of hormones and are not indicators of whether the tumor is malignant or benign. Therefore the tests are non conclusive and would need to be complimented with other tests to check the tumors
There are four X-Ray tests that are primarily used for the detection of a tumor in the adrenal gland:

Ultrasound: The ultrasound is most commonly used to examine one’s adrenal gland and kidneys. The ultrasound test however may not be as accurate as the CT Scan and therefore is not preferred as the best method to detect tumors. The test however can be used to detect any kind of adrenal tumor.

CT Scan: The CT Scan also known as the CAT Scan is another common way of examining whether a patient is suffering from adrenal cancer. It can be used to detect any type of adrenal tumor and is painless. The procedure is not long and only takes about 30 minutes. It is one of the most accurate ways of examining the adrenal glands for tumors. The pictures generated help in sizing up the tumors well that help in planning the treatments that should be taken up.
The scan identifies the following:
Left adrenal gland
Left Kidney
Spleen outline

MRI Scan: The MRI Scan is similar to the CAT Scan. It is also known as the MR Scan or the NMR Scan. The MRI scan takes about an hour to complete and deploys magnetic fields to produce pictures unlike x-ray like images that the CAT scan generates or sound waves that you get from an ultra sound.
Pheochromocytomas light up on an MRI Scan making it one of the most accurate ways of detecting adrenal tumors of any type.

MIBG Scan: The MIBG scan is used to detect the location and presence of adrenal pheochromocytomas. The test is ineffective in detecting other types of adrenal tumors.

Most doctors will utilize the above mentioned tests to examine your body for adrenal tumors. However it is essential that you seek the guidance of an expert when it comes to adrenal gland cancer as you need to ensure that the proper treatment is adhered to after the tumor is detected be it malignant or benign.
When you consult a doctor who is recognized you can be sure that you will receive the best treatment. Over and above medication and surgeries you need to pay attention to your diet and make efforts to stay healthy by indulging in physical exercise. The medication can lead you to feeling tired and lethargic and therefore you should try and fight the illness itself with your mind and try and keep a brave front. If you are willing to fight the disease it can be defeated.

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