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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



adrenal cancer  listen  (uh-DREE-nul KAN-ser)

  Cancer that forms in the tissues of the adrenal glands (two glands located just above the kidneys). The adrenal glands make hormones that control heart rate, blood pressure, and other important body functions. Adrenal cancer that starts in the outside layer of the adrenal gland is called adrenocortical carcinoma. Adrenal cancer that starts in the center of the adrenal gland is called malignant pheochromocytoma.

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Anatomy of the adrenal gland; drawing of the abdomen showing the left and right adrenal glands, the left and right kidneys, and major blood vessels. A cross section of an adrenal gland is in an inset showing the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla.