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Adrenal Pheochromocytoma


Adrenal pheochromocytoma is a tumor that forms on the adrenal glands. These tumors are usually benign (not cancer). Rarely, they are malignant (cancer) and need more treatment. The tumor causes your adrenal glands to make too much adrenal hormone. Adrenal hormones help your body handle stress, and keep your blood sugar and blood pressure levels normal. They also increase your levels of adrenaline. This can cause a sudden increase in your heart rate and blood pressure called a hypertensive crisis, a life-threatening condition that needs immediate treatment.



You may be given medicines to treat your symptoms. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working or you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You will need to have regular follow-up visits with your endocrinologist or oncologist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Blood sugar checks:

Adrenal pheochromocytoma can cause blood sugar changes. You may need to check your blood sugar several times each day with a glucose monitor. This is a small device that measures the amount of sugar in your blood. A dietitian may also work with you to help you choose the best foods to control your blood sugar level. Tell your healthcare provider if you have problems eating or have an upset stomach.

For more information:

  • National Cancer Institute
    6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 300
    Bethesda , MD 20892-8322
    Phone: 1- 800 - 422-6237
    Web Address:

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever, chills, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have nausea or vomiting and cannot keep food or liquids down.
  • Your pain is worse or does not go away even after you take your pain medicines.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • Your wound is tender, swollen, red, or has pus coming from it.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have a severe headache or feel dizzy.
  • You have blurred or double vision.
  • You have trouble breathing or a fast heartbeat.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.