Adrenal Gland Tumor: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 02/2022

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. The average age of a person diagnosed with an adrenal gland tumor is 46 years. However, these tumors can occur at any age.

Each year, an estimated 600 people are diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma. This type of cancer is much less common than an adrenal adenoma, which is a noncancerous tumor that is found most commonly in middle-aged and older adults. See the Introduction for more about these types of adrenal gland tumors.

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 50%.

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 this type of 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 an adrenal gland tumor are now being diagnosed at earlier stages. 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 tumor in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how an adrenal gland tumor is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the websites of the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center. (All sources accessed January 2022.)

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