…. Continued …
- Discomfort in the stomach. The size of cancer itself can grow and become larger overtime. This eventually may cause more pressure in the stomach, causing abdominal discomfort.
- The size of cancer in the adrenal glands may become large enough to also affect structures of the back, causing back discomfort such as back pain.
What are the treatment options?
Metastatic adrenal gland cancer from stage IV of lung cancer is treated by some different strategies.
Note; the treatments are different from the treatments for primary adrenal gland cancer (cancer that has started from the original cells in the adrenal glands, not coming from other parts of the body). Primary and secondary cancers are treated differently!
Treatments for the underlying cancer (primary lung cancer)
Since the cancer cells that make cancerous tumor growth in the adrenal gland are from lung cancer, the treatment is also focused to treat this primary cancer! For this goal, you usually will take a systemic treatment (see the previous page). This includes chemotherapy, immune therapy, and targeted therapy.
Systemic treatment is aimed to help target cancer cells in large areas, kill them, and preventing them from growing back. This is also beneficial to help prevent cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body or kill them where they may be hiding.
You might also like to read about the natural treatment approaches for lung cancer in this section!
Treatments for adrenal gland metastasis
One of common treatments is with radiation therapy. As the name implies, it involves the use of high-energy radiation to help kill the cancer cells and prevent the cancerous tumor from growing.
Since the radiation can hit the target widely, there is a chance for the surrounding tissues are also affected. For instance, the kidneys may be affected during the treatment.
However, your doctor and specialist have completely understood about this risk. Overall, each treatment for cancer is only given if it has more benefits that outweigh the risks!
Sometime, gland surgically removed option (adrenalectomy) may also be suggested. This is particularly true if there is no another part of the body affected by the cancer.
For summary, the successful rate of adrenalectomy is pretty high for the following scenarios:
- The primary lung cancer is well controlled and it has not spread elsewhere in the body, adrenal gland is the only one where it spreads.
- The progression of the cancer is not aggressive, relatively slow!
- If you have a reasonable expectation that your adrenal metastasis can be completely removed with surgery.
- Your general health is good enough, particularly to recover quite quickly after the treatment.
Treatments to help manage or improve the symptoms
As noted before, if both adrenal glands are affected by cancer, the deficiency of adrenal hormone usually will be severe enough to cause symptoms.
To treat this deficiency, additional treatments can be given. One of common treatments is with replacement doses of steroid hormones.