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What are extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas?

Paragangliomas are also called extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas and these terms are often used interchangeably. Overall, it has been estimated that approximately 10% of pheochromocytomas occur in an extra-adrenal location. Compared to adrenal pheochromocytomas, paragangliomas have a higher risk of being malignant or cancerous, as high as 40-50% in some studies. Larger tumor size (over 5 cm), invasion of the tumor into adjacent structures, and spread (metastases) to other organs are characteristics of malignant paragangliomas. 

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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.