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What is a sex hormone secreting adrenal tumor?

Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery

Adrenal tumors can secrete/release various hormones depending on where in the gland it starts. A sex hormone secreting adrenal tumor is one that releases sex hormones such as testosterone type hormones that result in expected changes such as excess hair growth.

Sex hormone secreting adrenal tumors are very unusual and occur in about 2 out of every 1 million people. These tumors may be benign (adenomas) or malignant (adrenocortical carcinoma). Telling the difference between a benign and a malignant sex hormone producing tumor may be difficult based upon the microscopic appearance. The best predictor for malignancy is whether or not there are metastases, invasion of other organs, or recurrence. Smaller tumors are more typically benign, whereas larger tumors pose a greater risk of being cancer. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.