Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (also called Pheo/Para) are rare NETs that occur either inside or outside of the adrenal glands. These tumors affect approximately 1 in every 3,000 people.
There are two adrenal glands, located on the top of each kidney in the back of the upper abdomen. Adrenal glands make hormones that control blood pressure and blood sugar
to help the body respond to stress.
Pheochromocytomas: occur in nerve tissue inside the adrenal glands and near certain blood vessels and nerves.
Paragangliomas: occur outside the adrenal glands. Pheo/para produce excess amounts of adrenaline and related hormones, which are the “fight-or-flight” hormones usually released in response to stress.
Sometimes specific syndromes or gene changes passed down in families can increase the risk of pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma. These risk factors include:
Having someone in your family with one of these risk factors does not mean you will develop this type of cancer; however, it increases the likelihood.
PNETs, by Xavier Keutgen, MD, FACS, and Chih-Yi (Andy) Liao, MD
SiNETs, by Chandrikha Chandrasekharan, MBBS
Lung NETs, by Suki Padda, MD
Pheo/Para and Genetics, by Lauren Fishbein, MD, PhD
GI Troubles, Diarrhea and Diet, by David Richards, MD
Lung Neuroendocrine Tumors, by Suki Padda, MD
Keeping Your Liver Healthy, by Helen Te, MD
Know Your Lung NET, by Robert Ramirez, DO
Carcinoid Heart Disease, by Heidi Connolly, MD
NETs Risk Factors, by Lauren Fishbein, MD, PhD