The first step in diagnosis is usually a physical exam and medical history. Your doctor will check your body for signs of disease. He or she will want to know whether your family has a history of adrenal cancer. You will be asked about your sexual function and menstrual periods (if you are female).
A number of different tests and procedures may help diagnose adrenocortical carcinoma. They vary depending on the person's symptoms. You may have one or more of the following tests:
If adrenocortical carcinoma is diagnosed, your care team will need to find out if the cancer cells have spread within or beyond the adrenal gland. This is called staging. Staging is important for planning treatment and assessing your prognosis. Many of the tests used for diagnosis also help doctors determine the stage of the cancer.
The four stages of adrenocortical carcinoma are defined by the size of the tumor and how far the cancer has spread:
Cancer that has returned after it has been treated is called recurrent adrenocortical carcinoma.
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