A primary adrenal gland tumor is very uncommon, and exact statistics are not available for this type of tumor in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 300 adults in the United States are diagnosed each year with adrenal cortical cancer. This type of cancer is much less common than an adrenal adenoma, a benign tumor that is more common for middle-age and older adults. The average age of a person diagnosed with an adrenal gland tumor is between 45 and 50; however, these tumors can occur at any age. More women than men tend to be diagnosed with adrenal gland tumors.
The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases. The five-year survival rate of people with an adrenal cortical cancer depends on different factors, including the extent (or stage) of cancer at the time it is diagnosed. In general, for people with a Stage I or II adrenal cortical cancerous tumor, meaning the cancer has not spread and it can be removed by surgery, the five-year survival rate is about 40% to 60%. Stage III cancer has an overall survival rate of 20%, and Stage IV cancer has an overall rate of 10%. Other factors that affect survival include the age of the patient and whether the tumor secretes hormones.
Statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of tumor in the United States, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. Because the survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with an adrenal gland tumor. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society and the University of Michigan.