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Endocrine Malignancies Resources
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Endocrine Malignancies

Endocrine Malignancies

The endocrine system refers to the glands that secret hormones into your bloodstream. Cancers of the endocrine system include thyroid cancer, parathyroid disease, pituitary tumors and adrenocortical carcinoma. These cancers are rare.

What are the symptoms of Endocrine Malignancies?
There may be none. Other symptoms can be vague and easily attributed to other causes, or quite varied depending on the location and advancement of the tumor.

  • A thyroid tumor may cause a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing and hoarseness.
  • A parathyroid tumor may cause fatigue, constipation, extreme thirst, frequent urination and a lump in the neck.
  • A pituitary tumor can cause a hump on the upper back, changes in facial features, breast milk production in women or breast growth in men.
  • Adrenocortical carcinoma can cause virilization or feminization. In young children, an abnormally early puberty may occur.
How are Endocrine Malignancies diagnosed?
Urine and blood tests, biopsy, imaging via a CT scan or MRI and other tests are possibilities. In some cases, the diagnosis is not confirmed until the tumor is removed and examined by a pathologist.

What are the treatments for Endocrine Malignancies?
In most cases, surgery to remove the malignancy will be performed if possible. Radiation, with or without surgery, chemotherapy and certain kinds of medication to control hormone production or reduce tumor size may be given.

What are some additional resources for learning about Endocrine Malignancies?
If you or your loved one is facing endocrine malignancies, CalvertHealth has a whole range of services designed to help you so you never take this journey alone. Please talk to your CalvertHealth provider or your Nurse Navigator, or check the service pages for information about treatments, services and support groups.
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