What should be done if I have an incidentaloma?

The two main questions to answer are: Is the tumor functional (making too much hormone)? And what is the chance that this is cancer? To answer these questions, a series of tests should be done.

The three main functional tumors to rule out are pheochromocytoma, aldosterone producing adenoma, and cortisol producing tumor (Cushing's syndrome where too much cortisol is being made). Virilizing tumors (tumors that make too much male hormone) are rare and usually cause signs and symptoms like increased hair growth (hirsutism), acne, male pattern baldness, and loss of or irregular periods that lead to a work-up.

The two types of cancer to rule out are metastases (cancer from somewhere else that spreads to the adrenal gland) and adrenocortical cancer (primary adrenal cancer). Some cancers such as melanoma, breast, and lung cancer may send metastases to the adrenal gland. 

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

Endocrine System

Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.

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.