Adrenal nodules are found in around 5-8% of all patients who, due to other health issues, have undergone an imaging scan such as a CT scan, MRI, or an ultrasound. The adrenal nodules can be either malignant or benign, with most of them being benign. The benign adrenal nodules do not cause any symptoms and do not cause excess adrenal hormones to be produced.
Benign & Malignant Adrenal Nodules
Usually, when adrenal nodules are discovered, the next step is to detect
whether they are benign or malignant. This requires more imagining scans to be
done in addition to doing a blood test to determine whether or not the adrenal
nodule produces extra-adrenal hormones. When it comes to benign adrenal
nodules, they are followed by CT-scans up to 6 months, to determine if they are
changing. If no changes are evident, then the nodules are considered not to
require any further follow-up, and there is no need for them to be
On the other hand, if the adrenal nodules are determined to be malignant, surgery is recommended. Malignant adrenal nodules are recommended to be removed because of their ability to produce excess hormones which can lead to worsening of your health. Symptoms of malignant, also known as functioning, adrenal nodules include high blood pressure, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, muscle weakness, severe fatigue, etc. In the worst case scenario, a malignant adrenal nodule has spread to the other body organs. In this case, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are being used.