Adrenal Gland Tumor: Questions to Ask the Doctor

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some questions to ask your doctor or other members of your health care team, to help you better understand your diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Talking often with the doctor is important to make informed decisions about your health care. These suggested questions are a starting point to help you learn more about your cancer care and treatment. You are also encouraged to ask additional questions that are important to you. You may want to print this list and bring it to your next appointment, or download Cancer.Net’s free mobile app for an e-list and other interactive tools to manage your care.

  • What type of adrenal gland tumor do I have?
  • Is the tumor cancerous?
  • Is the tumor functional or nonfunctional? What does this mean?
  • Is the tumor located only in the adrenal gland?
  • Can you explain my pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What clinical trials are open to me? Where are they located, and how do I find out more about them?
  • What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
  • What is the goal of each treatment? Is it to eliminate the cancer, help me feel better, or both?
  • Who will be part of my health care team, and what does each member do?
  • Who will be coordinating my overall treatment and follow-up care?
  • Should I talk with a genetic counselor before I start treatment?
  • Is surgery required? If so, what type of surgery? Will the entire adrenal gland be removed?
  • How experienced is the surgeon with this type of surgery?
  • Are there radiation therapy and surgery options to treat the tumor?
  • Can chemotherapy control the tumor?
  • Will I need hormone replacement therapy? For how long?
  • What are the possible side effects of each treatment, both in the short term and long term?
  • How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
  • Could this treatment affect my sex life? If so, how and for how long?
  • Could this treatment affect my ability to become pregnant or have children? If so, should I talk with a fertility specialist before cancer treatment begins?
  • If I’m worried about managing the costs related to my medical care, who can help me with these concerns?
  • What are the chances the tumor could come back after treatment?
  • What follow-up tests will I need, and how often will I need them?
  • What support services are available to me? To my family?
  • Could my family members be at risk for an adrenal gland tumor? Should they talk with a genetic counselor?
  • Whom should I call for questions or problems?

The next section offers some more resources that may be helpful to you. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Additional Resources, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.