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Adrenal cancer


Updated: October 1, 2005


  • Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare tumor that affects only up to 2 persons per one million population.
  • Adrenocortical carcinoma accounts for 0.2% of all cancer-related deaths.


  • The male-to-female ratio is approximately 1:3. 
  • Female patients are more likely than male patients to have an associated endocrine syndrome.
  • Nonfunctional Adrenocortical carcinomas are distributed equally between the sexes.
  • Male patients tend to be older and have a worse overall prognosis than female patients.


  • It occurs in 2 major peaks: in the first decade of life and again in the fourth to fifth decades.
  • The median age is 44 years at diagnosis but the tumor occurs at all ages. The median age at presentation for children is 4 years.

Race and ethnicity

Adrenocortical cancer has no racial or ethnic predilection.


Some reports suggest an inordinately high frequency of cases among children in southern Brazil, for unknown reasons.

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