In cases involving a pheochromocytoma, treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is the most common method used for a pheochromocytoma. A doctor may remove one or both adrenal glands in an operation called adrenalectomy. During and after treatment, it's important for patients to eat right -- even when the side effects of treatment make it difficult to do so.
Different types of treatments are available for pheochromocytoma. These treatment options vary based on:
- The pheochromocytoma stage (see Pheochromocytoma Stages)
- The patient's age and general health.
In general, pheochromocytoma treatment options can include:
- Radiation therapy
The doctor can describe the treatment choices and the expected results of each. The patient and his or her doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets the patient's medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, family, and healthcare team.
Many people want to take an active part in making decisions about their medical care. They want to learn all they can about pheochromocytoma and the treatment choices available to them. However, the shock and stress that often accompany a pheochromocytoma diagnosis can make it hard to think of everything to ask the doctor. Often it helps to make a list of questions before a doctor's appointment.
(Click Pheochromocytoma Questions for examples of specific questions to ask your doctor.)
To help remember what the doctor says, people may take notes or ask if they may use a tape recorder. Some also want to have a family member or friend with them when they talk to the doctor -- to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen.