« Back to Glossary Index

Short term for Adrenocortical Carcinoma, meaning Adrenal Cancer.

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare tumor that affects only 0.72 persons per one million. Although it mainly occurs in adults, children can be affected, too. The median age at diagnosis is 46 years. Historically, only about 30% of these malignancies are confined to the adrenal gland at the time of diagnosis. However, recently, more ACCs have been diagnosed at early stages, most likely due to the widespread use of high-quality imaging techniques.

In approximately 60% of patients, symptoms related to excessive hormone secretion are the main reasons for seeking medical attention. Biochemical hormone testing reveals that up to 80% of tumors are functioning. The second most common symptoms at time of initial presentation are unspecific abdominal symptoms, such as abdominal pain or fullness. A small percentage of ACCs is discovered incidentally by imaging studies conducted for reasons other than potential adrenal disease.