Adrenal Tumors |Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of adrenal tumors?

The symptoms of adrenal tumors may vary from child to child and depend on where the tumor is located and what kind it is. Symptoms might mimic other, more common ailments. Some common symptoms may include:

  • No symptoms or abdominal pain, fullness, or the presence of an abdominal lump if the tumor is not producing hormones.
  • Weight changes, high blood pressure, or early onset of pubertal changes (voice deepening, pubic hair, body odor, acne, or breast tissue developing early) if a tumor is producing hormones.
  • High blood pressure, rapid pulse, headache, nausea, or sweating from a pheochromocytoma.

Because many of these symptoms can also point to other conditions, it’s important to have your child evaluated by a qualified medical professional right away.

What causes adrenal tumors in children?

It is important to understand that tumors often emerge with no known cause. Many may result from the combined effects of genetic and environmental factors.

Some cancers are caused by inherited conditions. Disorders associated with pheochromocytomas include neurofibromatosis, von Hippel-Lindau disease, multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes, tuberous sclerosis, Sturge-Weber syndrome, and ataxia-telangiectasia.

Adrenocortical carcinomas are often linked to genetic conditions, most often Li-Fraumeni syndrome. About 50% to 80% of pediatric ACC patients have this syndrome. Other related conditions include MEN1, Lynch syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and hemihypertrophy.