Nonsurgical and Surgical Therapies

Once diagnosed, there may be different treatment options for adrenal cancer. The specific treatment choice is determined by age, medical history, and the stage of cancer. The GW Cancer Center will provide you information to help you decide which treatment pathway is right for you.

Chemotherapy: Powerful drugs taken by mouth or delivered into the veins can be very effective in killing cancer cells, particularly if they have spread beyond the adrenal gland.

Immunotherapy: These are treatments that help the body’s immune system work harder in fighting cancer cells. Immunotherapy is a relatively new, safe alternative with minimal side effects.

Medication: There are drugs that can help correct the levels of hormones created by adrenal tumors. They help relieve symptoms associated with adrenal cancer.

Radiation therapy: Special machines deliver high-energy radiation rays to tumors. The rays shrink tumors and kill cancer cells.

Surgery: Surgery is the main treatment for adrenal cancer. A surgeon uses special tools to remove the adrenal gland (adrenalectomy). Lymph nodes may also be removed to see if the cancer has spread.

You may be a candidate for minimally invasive adrenalectomy if the tumor is small enough. Minimally invasive surgery can decrease your hospital stay, reduce the risk of infection, decrease pain, and facilitate a faster recovery.

Targeted therapy: New drugs target cancer at the molecular level to block or slow cancer cell growth. They often have fewer side effects than chemotherapy.