Children's Hospital Colorado

Adrenocortical Carcinoma

What is adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC)?

Adrenocortical carcinoma, also called adrenal cortical carcinoma, is a cancerous tumor found on the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland is located above the kidneys and it produces a variety of hormones important for regulating multiple systems in the body. The area of the adrenal gland where ACC occurs makes hormones that regulate metabolism and blood pressure, as well as cortisol and sex hormones. ACC can cause overproduction of any of these hormones.

What causes ACC?

Most adrenal cancers are sporadic, meaning they occur randomly. Adrenocortical carcinomas are sometimes associated with a genetic condition called Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.

Who gets ACC?

ACC is more common in adults. Most children who get ACC are under the age of 5, although it can appear in children and teenagers of any age. Girls tend to get it more commonly than boys.