It is considered a rare tumor that affects only one or two people per million. Although potentially curable at early stages, only 30-percent of these malignancies are confined to the adrenal gland at the time of diagnosis. As a patient with adrenal cancer, your best long-term outcome will be achieved with a comprehensive, coordinated approach that incorporates all available therapies.
Your Winship care team draws on Emory’s vast resources in surgical oncology, radiation therapy and medical oncology, to provide the newest, most effective practices and treatments. Our multidisciplinary care teams include oncology surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists and advanced practice nurses with expertise in adrenal cancer.
The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly experienced teams include:
- Access to doctors and surgeons who rank among the top experts in the world.
- Weekly review of patient cases by the full team of experts.
- Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
- Access to a nurse navigator to assist you throughout the treatment process.
- Access to support groups and education classes for you and your caregivers.
- Availability of new treatment options within our clinical trials program.
The tumors can cause numerous changes in the body because of the excess hormones they produce. Correctly diagnosing and staging the extent of your disease is essential to your treatment.
Your Winship care team may use a variety of imaging techniques and other tests including: CT, MRI and PET scans. A blood chemistry study measures the amount of certain substances that could signal a problem with the adrenal gland. Adrenal venography uses dye to look at the veins and blood flow near that adrenal gland. A 24 urine test and Dexamethasone test may be used to detect the level of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal gland.
It is also important to know that your chances for having the best possible outcome are highest in the hands of a medical team that is experienced in treating adrenal cancer.
One or more of the following types of treatment will be used.
Surgery: Physicians may remove the adrenal gland (adrenaloctomy) and nearby lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy). Chemotherapy and radiation may be used before or after surgery.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. Physicians give these drugs based on the stage of the tumor. Chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery to treat cancer.
In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselors, nurse navigators, dietitians and social service professionals.
Your Treatment Team
- Dr. Maithel is a board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist with special interest in malignancies of the liver, bile ducts, pancreas, stomach, colon, and small intestine.
- Associate Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-0210
- A board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist, Dr. Saunders specializes in cancers of the endocrine organs including thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands.
- Assistant Professor, Division of General and GI Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
- (404) 778-3712
- Dr. Staley leads the surgical oncology team and as Chief Quality Officer works collaboratively with leadership on tracking and improving patient services and satisfaction as well as focusing on cancer outcomes at Winship.
- Chief Quality Officer, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
- (404) 778-0210