Metastastic Disease to the Adrenal

Occasionally a cancer from another part of the body will metastasize (spread) to one or even both of the adrenal glands. Among the common cancers that will sometimes spread in this way are renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer), melanoma (a type of skin cancer), lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma (lymph node cancer). The best treatment for most cancers that have spread to the adrenal glands is usually systemic therapy (for example, chemotherapy). However, doctors will sometimes recommend that patients with an adrenal metastasis have that gland surgically removed (adrenalectomy).  Adrenalectomy is most likely to be helpful if the adrenal gland is the only site of cancer spread. Removing the affected adrenal gland can help prevent symptoms from the enlarging adrenal mass and may reduce the risk of further spread of the cancer.