The individuals treated for adrenal gland tumors should be regularly checked by an endocrinologist to monitor recovery and detect the growth of new tumors. So, endocrinologists recommend follow-up care for adrenal gland tumors for the patients to prevent the risk of recurrence. A critical follow-up care approach is to communicate with the doctor about the risk of developing side effects based on the type of tumor, individual treatment plan, and general health condition. The patient and their doctor need to work together to form a customized follow-up care plan.
Care for patients diagnosed with adrenal gland tumors does not end with the completion of aggressive treatment. Your health team will ensure that the tumor has not recurred, treat side effects, and continue to monitor your overall health. This is called aftercare. Follow-Up Care for adrenal gland tumor might include regular physical examinations, medical examinations, or both. Doctors want to track recovery in the coming months and years. The endocrine is a complex collection of hormone-producing glands which control many vital functions. f the tumor-free adrenal glands are functioning normally after surgery, they should make enough hormones for the body. However one may require hormone replacement therapy, such as steroids because the body cannot produce enough hormones. This dose may decrease over time and may even stop taking hormone replacement therapy in the future.
The endocrinologist, an expertise of the endocrine system, should carefully monitor this process. Once both adrenal glands have been removed, long-term dosing is needed to replace the hormones typically produced by these glands. You also need to wear a medical alert bracelet. If you get sick or faint, the bracelet can warn your medical professional about your condition. Some people with adrenal tumors have a 10% or higher risk of developing adrenal gland tumors in other glands.
For this reason, people who are being treated for adrenal gland tumors should be regularly checked by an endocrinologist to monitor recovery and detect the growth of new tumors. Adrenal cancer, in particular, can multiply and spread. Since it is rare, it is advisable to participate in clinical trials at medical centers that have experience in treating and monitoring this particular type of tumor.
Talk to your doctor about where to find these studies and what kind of Follow-up care for adrenal gland tumor suits you. Adrenal tumors that appear to be benign may also require follow-up care with imaging and hormonal tests 1. The duration and frequency of follow-up care and the type of tests ordered may vary from patient to patient. If your case requires such follow-up, consult your doctor. Recommend rehabilitation includes various physical therapy, career counselling, pain therapy, nutritional planning and emotional counselling. Rehabilitation aims to help people regain control of many aspects of their lives and remain as independent as possible.
Recurrence of Adrenal Gland Tumor
One goal of follow-up care for adrenal gland tumor is to check for recurrence. It means that cancer has recurred. Tumors recur because small areas of tumor cells in the body may go undetected. Over time, these cells can grow in number until they appear in test results or cause signs or symptoms. The doctor who is aware with patient’s medical history may provide personal information about the risk of recurrence during follow-up care. The doctor might also ask you specific questions about your health. Some people have blood and imaging tests as part of regular follow-up care.
Still, the recommended tests depend on several factors, including the type and stage of the initially diagnosed tumor and treatment type. Expecting follow-up tests and waiting for test results can be stressful for you and your family. It is sometimes referred to as “scan-xiety.”
Managing long-term and late side effects
Many individuals expect to experience side effects when treating an adrenal gland tumor. However, it is often surprising for survivors that some side effects can persist beyond the duration of treatment. You can call them long-term side effects. In addition, after months or years, other side effects known as long-term effects can occur.
Long-term and long-term effects can include both physical and emotional changes. Talk to your doctor about the risk of developing such side effects based on the type of tumor, individual treatment plan, and general health condition. If you receive treatment known to cause certain late complications, you can also do specific physical examinations, scans, or blood tests to find and treat them 2.
Keeping personal health records
You and your doctor need to work together to develop a customized follow-up care plan. If there are any concerns about your future physical or emotional health, be sure to ask. Some organizations provides a form to help you track the treatment you receive and develop a survivor benefit plan after the treatment is complete. This is also an excellent time to talk to your doctor about who will lead the follow-up care.
Some survivors continue to meet oncologists or endocrinologists, while others return to the care of their GP or other medical professionals. The decision usually depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the tumor, side effects, health insurance policies, and personal preferences. If a doctor who is not directly involved in patient’s care is directing patient’s follow-up care, be sure to share your treatment summary and survivor benefit form with them and future health care providers. The details of treating adrenal gland tumor are valuable to the medical professional who will take care of the patient for the rest of your life.
- Berruti A, Baudin E, Gelderblom H, et al. Adrenal cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of Oncology. Published online October 2012:vii131-vii138. doi:10.1093/annonc/mds231
- McClennan BL. Oncologic imaging. Staging and follow-up of renal and adrenal carcinoma. Cancer. Published online February 15, 1991:1199-1208. doi:10.1002/1097-0142(19910215)67:4+<1199::aid-cncr2820671516>3.0.co;2-t