Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor of chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla.About 10% to 15% of these tumors are cancerous, and can spread to other parts of the body. But mostly they are benign and confined to one or both adrenal glands.
Pheochromocytoma causes excess production of adrenal hormones resulting in high blood pressure, headache, sweating and symptoms of a panic attack.If left untreated, it can cause severe life-threatening damage to other body systems as well.Complications include cardiomyopathy,myocarditis
,pulmonary edema,stroke,heart attack,kidney failure and Nerve damage.
Most pheochromocytomas are discovered in people between the ages of 20 and 50. But the tumor can develop at any age.Although 30% of cases seem to run in families; but the exact cause of Pheochromocytoma is still not known.
Treatment includes surgery through Laproscopic procedures which usually returns blood pressure back to normal.
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