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Treatment for adrenal cancer is either local or systemic. Local treatments remove, destroy, or control the cancer cells in one certain area. Surgery and radiation are local treatments. Systemic treatments are used to destroy or control cancer cells throughout the entire body. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment. A patient may have just one treatment or a combination of treatments.
Different types of treatment have different goals. Below is a list of various adrenal cancer treatments with their respective goals.
Immunotherapy (also called biological therapy, biological response modifier therapy, or biotherapy) is designed to boost the body's immune system in order to fight cancer. The cells, antibodies, and organs of the immune system work to protect and defend the body against foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. Doctors and researchers have found that the immune system might also be able to both determine the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells in the body, and to eliminate the cancer cells.
The use of high-energy radiation to kill or shrink cancer cells, tumors, and non-cancerous diseases.
The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor along with the adrenal gland.
Today, many adrenal tumors can be removed laparoscopically. This is a less invasive surgery that allows patients to leave the hospital after one or two days. Patients usually have less pain and can return to normal activities sooner.
Doctors are always looking for new ways to treat adrenal cancer. These new methods are tested in clinical trials. Before beginning treatment, a person should ask their doctor if there are any clinical trials available in the hospital where they are being treated they should consider.
At first, the information a patient receives about treatment options may seem overwhelming. It is important that patients take the time to gather as much information as possible about their disease and its treatment and to discuss the issues with their doctors, nurses, and loved ones. Many people find it helpful to make a list of questions before seeing their doctor.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.