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Pheochromocytoma

Summary

Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor that usually starts in the cells of one of your adrenal glands. Although they are usually benign, pheochromocytomas often cause the adrenal gland to make too many hormones. This can lead to high blood pressure and cause symptoms such as

  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Pounding of the heart
  • Being shaky
  • Being extremely pale

Sometimes pheochromocytoma is part of another condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome (MEN). People with MEN often have other cancers and other problems involving hormones.

Doctors use lab tests and imaging tests to diagnose it. Surgery is the most common treatment. Other options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

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