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Endocrine Cancer

Treatment on the Gulf Coast

Endocrine cancer, which is made up of all the cancers that affect the endocrine system, affects tens of thousands of Americans each year. Infirmary Cancer Care stands ready to help those in the Gulf Coast community fight and recover from this disease. With effective and accessible treatments and a caring team that will help you determine the best options for you, Infirmary Cancer Care can help you defeat endocrine cancer and keep living life to the fullest. As a not-for-profit healthcare provider and the largest private provider in Alabama, Infirmary Health is the right place for your cancer treatment.

Let us help you begin the fight today. Contact us today.

What Is Endocrine Cancer?

Endocrine cancer is a class of cancers that affects the body’s endocrine system. This system included the adrenal glands, pancreas, parathyroid glands, pituitary glands and thyroid. Endocrine cancer can affect any of these organs when uncontrolled cell growth occurs.

Risks & Symptoms

While endocrine cancers can affect every organ in the adrenal system, each type of cancer has different risks and symptoms. However, endocrine cancers commonly lack symptoms in their early stages. Proper diagnosis depends on a careful understanding of the patient’s history, risk factors and current symptoms.

  • Adrenal cancer: Cancer of the adrenal glands is rare and usually involves a rare genetic disposition. Signs of adrenal cancer include a full feeling in the stomach and stomach pain.
  • Pancreatic: Pancreatic cancer is more common among those of African or Jewish descent and commonly affects smokers or those with family histories of endocrine, breast or colon cancers. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include developing diabetes, nausea, vomiting, weakness, pain in the stomach and back, jaundice, loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Parathyroid: Parathyroid cancer is also rare and is most common in those with specific genetic mutations or those who have been exposed to radiation at an early age. Symptoms of this type of cancer include fatigue, weakness, and swelling and growth in the parathyroid glands located in the neck.
  • Pituitary: Pituitary cancer only occurs in those individuals with rare genetic mutations. Common symptoms of this disease include milk production from the breast, loss of motion in the eyes, headaches vision changes.
  • Thyroid: Cancer of the thyroid is more common in women and is also more common in those who have been exposed to radiation during their youth or those with family histories of the disease. Symptoms of this type of cancer include growths and swelling on the thyroid, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing and neck pain.

Diagnosing Endocrine Cancer

Our endocrine cancer specialists use several methods to test and diagnose endocrine cancers:

  • Physical examinations to test for lumps and swelling
  • Laboratory blood tests
  • Tumor marker tests
  • 24-hour urine test
  • Biopsies

Our staff also uses state-of-the-art imaging to check for endocrine cancer. These include MIGB scans, MRI, PET scans and endoscopic ultrasounds.

After diagnosing, the treatment team will then stage the cancer. This process looks at the type of cancer and aggressive nature to formulate the proper plan of treatment for cancer.

Prevention & Treatment

The treatment for endocrine cancers depends on the type of cancer the patient has and whether the tumor can be surgically removed, or cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Our treatment team will work with you to ensure you have the proper treatment plan tailored for your health history and situation.

Adrenal, pancreatic and parathyroid cancer can usually all be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Pituitary cancer is usually treated with either surgery or radiation. Thyroid cancer is treated through surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and radioactive iodine therapy. Parathyroid and thyroid cancers can also be often treated with ongoing clinical trials.

Call us today at (251) 435-2273 for more information on our endocrine treatment programs.

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