Adrenal cancers occur when abnormal cells form in or travel to the adrenal glands. There are two adrenal glands, one located above each kidney. Adrenal cancer usually occurs in the outermost layer of the glands, which is called the adrenal cortex. It usually appears as a tumor.
What are the Risk Factors for Adrenal Cancer?
Certain conditions put you at a greater risk for adrenal cancer including:
- Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (abnormal growth disorder with large body and organs)
- Li-Fraumeni syndrome (inherited disorder with an increased incidence of cancers)
- familial adenomatous polyposis (inherited condition with many polyps in the large intestines)
- multiple endocrine neoplasia (many tumors, benign or malignant, in glands that produce hormones)
Smoking is also believed to increase the risk of adrenal cancer, but it has yet to be proven conclusively.