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A-to-Z-Disease

      Adrenal Tumors / Pheochromocytoma

      What are adrenal tumors?

      There are two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney toward the back. Tumors of the adrenal glands are rare. However, when present, they can cause many problems by excess secretion of certain adrenal-produced hormones. One type of tumor of the adrenal glands is called a pheochromocytoma.

      What is a pheochromocytoma?

      A pheochromocytoma is an adrenal gland tumor that secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones. These hormones are responsible for regulating heart rate and blood pressure, among other functions. Pheochromocytomas occur most frequently in young to middle-aged adults between the ages of 30 and 60.


      What are the symptoms of pheochromocytoma?

      The most common symptom of pheochromocytoma is high blood pressure, which is sometimes extreme. Other symptoms are usually nonexistent, unless the person experiences pressure from the tumor. Symptoms can also be brought on by emotional stress, changes in posture, or if a patient is taking beta-blocker drugs for a heart disorder. The following are the most common symptoms of pheochromocytoma. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Other symptoms may include:

          * rapid pulse
          * palpitations
          * headache
          * nausea
          * vomiting
          * clammy skin

      The symptoms of pheochromocytoma may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.


      Treatment for pheochromocytoma:

      Specific treatment for pheochromocytoma will be determined by your physician based on:

          * your age, overall health, and medical history
          * extent of the disease
          * your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
          * expectations for the course of the disease
          * your opinion or preference