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For a patient with adrenal carcinoma, radiation therapy is sometimes incorporated into his or her treatment plan. While surgery is usually recommended to eliminate as much cancer as possible by removing the adrenal gland and some surrounding tissue (through a procedure known as an adrenalectomy), radiation therapy may precede or follow surgery to help destroy cancerous cells.

Through the use of highly focused beams of energy, radiation therapy can destroy cancerous cells in targeted areas. It's not often that the primary treatment for adrenal carcinoma is radiation therapy, but it may be recommended:

  • Prior to surgery to decrease the bulk of a tumor in order to ease its surgical removal
  • After surgery to help prevent adrenal cancer recurrence
  • To treat areas of cancer spread, such as the brain, liver or bones
  • To shrink a large adrenal gland tumor that cannot be surgically removed in order to help alleviate cancer-related symptoms

Radiation therapy for adrenal carcinoma can be delivered in several ways. Some patients receive external beam radiation therapy, in which a high-energy beam is directed at an adrenal tumor from a machine located outside the patient’s body (linear accelerator). Others receive brachytherapy, or internal radiotherapy, in which radioactive pellets are implanted inside the patient’s body and later removed (or allowed to disintegrate) after the treatment is completed.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, our radiation oncologists are highly skilled and experienced in using advanced radiation delivery methods while proactively managing any side effects of adrenal carcinoma treatment. This allows us to provide a maximum radiation dosage to an adrenal tumor or other cancerous area with a minimal impact on the surrounding healthy tissue. As part of this process, we use state-of-the-art imaging techniques to closely monitor a patient’s progress and refine treatment as necessary.

To learn more about radiation therapy for adrenal carcinoma and other treatment options, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. No referrals are required to consult with our team of experts.