What is Pheochromocytoma?
Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor originating in the adrenal glands, specifically, in a section called the medulla of the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands are 2 small glands that sit on top of the kidneys (circled in blue) and produce hormones that regulate stress responses, organ functions (eg, heart rate and blood pressure), and many metabolic processes with the tumor circled in green.
Some of these hormones are called catecholamines and include metanephrine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), epinephrine (adrenaline), and dopamine. In patients with pheochromocytomas, there is a release of excessive amounts of these hormones.
Most Pheochromocytomas are benign (noncancerous), and 90% of cases can be successfully treated by surgery.