Adrenal Gland Tumor: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2020

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with an adrenal gland tumor each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

A primary adrenal gland tumor is very uncommon. Exact statistics are not available for this type of tumor in the United States.

Each year, an estimated 600 people are diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma. This type of cancer is much less common than an adrenal adenoma, a benign tumor that is found most commonly in middle-aged and older adults. The average age of a person diagnosed with an adrenal gland tumor is 46. However, these tumors can occur at any age.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people with adrenocortical carcinoma is 51%.

However, the survival rate depends on different factors, including the extent (or stage) of cancer at the time it is diagnosed. Other factors that affect survival include the person’s age and whether the tumor produces hormones.

If the cancer is diagnosed and treated before it has spread outside the adrenal gland, the 5-year survival rate is 74%. In the past, approximately 30% of adrenocortical cancers were diagnosed at this stage. However, advances in imaging tests mean more people with this type of tumor are being diagnosed at earlier stages now. If the cancer has spread to the surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 56%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 37%.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with an adrenal gland tumor are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the website of the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and its A Patient’s Guide to Adrenocortical Cancer (PDF) and the websites of the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (all websites accessed January 2020).

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors. It explains what factors may increase the chance of developing an adrenal gland tumor. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.