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 :
- 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 drugs or other substances that attack specific cancer cells with less harm to normal cells.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
- General Information about Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Pheochromocytoma (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
- Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma: Overview (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
Diagnosis and Tests
- Catecholamine Tests (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- How Do Health Care Providers Diagnose Pheochromocytoma? (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
- Stages of Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- Adrenal Gland Removal (Adrenalectomy) (Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons)
- Drugs Approved for Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma (National Cancer Institute)
- Treatment Option Overview (Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma) (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type I (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
- Hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- Nonsyndromic paraganglioma: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Pheochromocytoma (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Total adrenalectomy versus subtotal adrenalectomy for bilateral pheochromocytoma: meta-analysis.
- Article: Early short-term effects on catecholamine levels and pituitary function in patients...
- Article: The connection between tricarboxylic acid cycle enzyme mutations and pseudohypoxic signaling...
- Pheochromocytoma -- see more articles
- Childhood Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma Treatment (National Cancer Institute)