What are Endocrine Tumours?
The most common reason that an endocrine tumour is found is when a patient has a scan for another reason and usually this should not cause too much concern. However, it is very important to make sure that no further action is required with careful assessment by a multi-disciplinary team. Our specialists look after hundreds of such patients every year.
Tumours may be found in any endocrine gland but most commonly these are found in the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary. Specialist blood tests and imaging are used to work out if the tumours are non-cancerous and to ensure that the tumour is not overproducing any hormone or causing underproduction of hormones from the rest of the gland. The management of any tumour therefore requires an experienced multi-disciplinary approach involving an endocrinologist, radiologist, pathologist and endocrine surgeon.
Our specialists have a wide range of experience dealing with the commonly found tumours of pituitary, thyroid and adrenal. Within the team there are also experts who routinely deal with much rarer endocrine tumours, including those associated with genetic disease.
These rarer conditions and tumours include:
- Phaeochromocytomas and Paragangliomas
- Familial Paraganglioma Syndromes (e.g. SDHB)
- Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (Type 1 and 2)
- Medullary Thyroid Cancer
- Neuroendocrine Tumours
The treatment of an endocrine tumour will depend on whether it is thought to be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign), and whether it is thought to be functioning or non-functioning. In most cases endocrine tumours are both benign and non-functioning and can be managed conservatively. However, if an endocrine tumour has the potential to cause harm, full treatment options will be discussed from medical treatment to endocrine surgery.