Malignant pheochromocytoma

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Malignant pheochromocytoma as opposed to benign, is a form of pheochromocytoma that is cancerous. Pheochromocytoma is a rare, usually noncancerous (benign) tumor that develops in cells in the center of an adrenal gland. There are two adrenal glands in the human body, one on the top of each kidney. They are shaped like triangles, and each is about a ½ inch high and 3 inches long.

Headache, sweating, and a fast heartbeat are typical symptoms of pheochromocytoma, usually in association with markedly high blood pressure.

However, less than 10 percent of pheochromocytoma’s surgically removed are found to be malignant. Treatment options for malignancy include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Research in this field is rapidly progressing.

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