Diagnosing Adrenal Gland Tumors

Support Throughout the Diagnostic Process

Our physicians, nurses and support staff are here to advise you, listen to you and calm your fears. Your physicians will explain your diagnosis and compassionately offer suggestions for treatment and care. They’re here for you.

Also available for counsel, support and guidance are nurse coordinators, oncology social workers and a pastoral team. They’ll help you navigate through the system and provide additional assistance, including:

  • Social support
  • Spiritual guidance
  • Emotional support
  • Practical advice
  • Tips on coping

Call on them. They’re here for you.

Personalized, comprehensive care is our guiding principle at Scott & White. We’re here to compassionately help you with the diagnosis and evaluation of your adrenal gland tumors and provide you with the most up-to-date treatment options.

Your physicians, nurses and support staff understand the fear and anxiety that come with a diagnosis of tumors and cancer. Your specialists will meet with you to discuss your treatment options and help allay your concerns. We also have chaplains and oncology social workers available to guide and support you throughout the treatment process.

You’re in good hands here. Our imaging systems at Scott & White are second to none. We have the most advanced diagnostic equipment available to find malignancies early. Our diagnostic radiologists are excellent at their craft: They’re nationally recognized for providing expert imaging and detection. And early detection saves lives.

Our pathology services are outstanding, providing precise identification of adrenal gland masses. Our board-certified pathologists are superior at recognition and classification of tumors, providing necessary information regarding selection and efficacy of treatments. They are a key part of your Integrated Care Team.

Adrenal Gland Tumor Diagnostic Services

At Scott & White Healthcare, we offer a number of diagnostic services to evaluate adrenal gland tumors. Your physician may order one or more of the following tests.

Imaging Tests

  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Ultrasound. Your physician may order an ultrasound, which is a machine that uses sound waves to make an image of your organs. The sound waves bounce off your adrenal gland and kidneys; a computer rearranges the waves into a picture that can reveal the presence of a mass and whether it’s solid or filled with fluid. The results are sent electronically to your surgeon.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI)
  • Selective adrenal venous sampling and hormone testing. In this procedure, your interventional radiologist will direct a very thin tube (catheter) into the vein coming out of each of your right and left adrenal glands to measure specific hormone levels. This test is used to determine whether hormones are being produced from just one or both adrenal glands. Your endocrinologist or surgeon will determine whether this invasive test is necessary. It’s used in the evaluation of certain adrenal adenomas. If the test is considered appropriate, Scott & White physicians are experienced in performing this technique with a high degree of comfort and success.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan. This specialized nuclear medicine X-ray scan is used to determine whether an adrenal mass is cancerous (malignant) or to determine whether it has spread from a cancerous tumor beginning elsewhere in your body.
  • MRI with contrast dye. Sometimes your physician will request an MRI with contrast dye. After you have had a regular MRI, you’ll be injected with some contrast dye. You’ll then have a second MRI. The dye will highlight the presence of any tumors.

Physical Exam and Laboratory Tests

  • Physical examination and history. Your physician will begin with a thorough physical exam and medical history.
  • 24-Hour urine test. Your physician may ask you to collect urine samples over a 24-hour period to check for any of a variety of hormones that may be overproduced by your adrenal glands. Elevated levels of these hormones may indicate a functioning adrenal tumor.
  • Low-dose dexamethasone suppression test. Your physician may check your blood or urine for cortisol levels after administering a dose of the potent steroid dexamethasone by mouth. Following this medication, your cortisol levels in your blood or urine will be measured in response.

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