What is an adrenal metastasis?
Adrenal metastasis occurs when cancer from another part of the body spreads (metastasizes) to one or both adrenal glands.
Among the most common types of cancer that will sometimes spread this way are renal cancer (kidney), melanoma (a type of skin cancer), lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal tract cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lymphoma.
Although adrenal glands have a relatively small size, they are the fourth most frequent metastatic site in cancers. Adrenal metastases are the second most common tumor of the adrenal gland after benign adenomas and the most common malignant lesions involving the adrenal gland.
Adrenal metastases are increasingly found incidentally due to the increasing role of CT, MRI, and PET in diagnosing, staging, and follow-up of malignancies. Adrenalectomy is most likely to be helpful if the adrenal gland is the only organ affected by the cancer spread.