Pheochromocytoma

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Pheochromocytoma is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Pheochromocytoma is a rare type of tumor that arises from certain cells known as chromaffin cells, which produce hormones necessary for the body to function properly. Most pheochromocytomas originate in one of the two adrenal glands located above the kidneys in the back of the upper abdomen. Most chromaffin cells are found in the adrenal gland's inner layer, which is known as the adrenal medulla. Approximately 90 percent of pheochromocytomas occur in the adrenal medulla. Approximately 10 percent occur outside of this area. These cases are referred to as extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas or paragangliomas. Paragangliomas may be found in the chest, heart, bladder, and/or neck or base of the skull. Symptoms associated with pheochromocytomas include high blood pressure (hypertension), headaches, excessive sweating, and/or heart palpitations. In most cases, pheochromocytomas occur randomly, for unknown reasons (sporadically). In approximately 25 to 35 percent of cases, pheochromocytomas may be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Some inherited cases may occur as part of a larger disorder such as multiple endocrine neoplasia types 2a and 2b, von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, neurofibromatosis or familial paraganglioma syndromes types 1, 3 or 4, or as familial isolated pheochromocytoma.

Supporting Organizations

American Cancer Society, Inc.

250 Williams NW St
Ste 6000
Atlanta, GA 30303
USA
Tel: (404)320-3333
Tel: (800)227-2345
Website: http://www.cancer.org

Association for Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Disorders (AMEND)

The Warehouse
No. 1 Draper Street
Kent, TN4 0PG
United Kingdom
Tel: 441892516076
Fax: 441892516076
Email: jo.grey@amend.org.uk
Website: http://www.amend.org.uk

Cancer Support Community

1050 17th St NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202)659-9709
Fax: (202)974-7999
Tel: (888)793-9355
Website: http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/

Friends of Cancer Research

1800 M Street NW
Suite 1050 South
Washington, DC 22202
Tel: (202)944-6700
Email: info@focr.org
Website: http://www.focr.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

March of Dimes

1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Email: AskUs@marchofdimes.org or preguntas@nacersano.org
Website: http://www.marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org

National Adrenal Diseases Foundation

505 Northern Bloulevard
Great Neck, NY 11021
USA
Tel: (516)487-4992
Fax: (516)829-5710
Email: nadfmail@nadf.us
Website: http://www.nadf.us/

National Cancer Institute

6116 Executive Blvd Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
USA
Tel: (301)435-3848
Tel: (800)422-6237
Email: cancergovstaff@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.cancer.gov

National Dysautonomia Research Foundation

PO Box 301
Red Wing, MN 55066-0102
Tel: (651)327-0367
Email: ndrf@ndrf.org
Website: http://www.ndrf.org

Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation

20 Park Plaza
Suite 478
Boston, MA 02116
USA
Tel: (617)948-2514
Fax: (617)948-2501
Email: info@netrf.org
Website: http://netrf.org/

Pheo Para Troopers

P.O. Box 2064
Kokomo, IN 46904
Email: info@pheoparatroopers.org
Website: http://www.pheoparatroopers.org

Rare Cancer Alliance

1649 North Pacana Way
Green Valley, AZ 85614
USA
Website: http://www.rare-cancer.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  10/25/2011
Copyright  2011 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.