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Endocrine Surgery

Adrenal Tumors

Adrenal metastases from other cancers

  • What are the most common cancers that metastasize to the adrenal gland?
    • The most common cancers are lung, breast, kidney, gastrointestinal, melanoma, and lymphoma.

  • How is it diagnosed?
    • Adrenal metastases are generally found on imaging (CT, MRI, PET scan) that is part of routine cancer follow-up after treatment for other cancers.
    • Diagnosis is usually made by a CT-guided biopsy performed by the radiologist after appropriate blood tests have been drawn to make sure the adrenal mass is not producing any hormones.

  • What are the indications to surgically remove the metastasis?
    • This will be decided on an individual basis with your oncologist and surgeon.
    • If the adrenal metastasis is the only known metastases and your cancer is otherwise stable and under good control without other disease then you may be a candidate for surgical removal of your adrenal tumor.

  • Can this surgery be done through the laparoscope (camera)?
    • If possible (the tumor is confined to the adrenal gland and not adherent or invading other structures) the surgery is done laparoscopically.


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University of Southern California
Upper G.I. and General Surgery

1450 San Pablo Street
Healthcare Consultation Center 4
Suite 6200
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Phone: (323) 865-3918
Fax: (323) 865-3539

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