Last Sunday (11), actor Juliano Laham announced his departure from the painting Dance of the famous, from Domingão do Faustão, to treat a tumor.
The actor was diagnosed with pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor and usually originating from the glands in the upper part of the kidneys.
What is pheochromocytoma tumor?
As stated above, the pheochromocytoma tumor is a rare tumor that appears in the tissue of some glands. It usually originates from the chromaffin cells of the adrenal glands. Located at the top of the kidneys, these adrenal (or adrenal) glands produce adrenaline and norepinephrine, which regulate our autonomic nervous system.
Thus, when pheochromocytoma occurs, it affects the entire nervous system responsible for controlling important functions of the human body, such as heart rate, breathing, digestion, etc.
Pheochromocytomas can occur in men or women of any age. However, they are more common in people between 20 and 40 years of age.
What are the symptoms of pheochromocytoma?
Pheochromocytoma tumors can be very small. But still, they can produce large amounts of hormones like norepinephrine and dopamine. So, these hormones tend to increase blood pressure and heart rate a lot, as well as other life-threatening symptoms.
The main symptom of a pheochromocytoma is high blood pressure. However, this does not mean that every person with hypertension has pheochromocytoma. Only one in every thousand people with high blood pressure has the tumor.
Other symptoms of the disease are:
- Excessive sweating
- Fast heartbeat
- Severe headaches
- Cold, moist skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in the chest and abdomen
- Vision disorders
- Tingling in the fingers
- Feeling of bad feeling
When these symptoms present themselves intensely, they may appear to be a panic attack. Symptoms usually appear and disappear in 50% of people. Because they can be triggered by pressure on the tumor, massage or medication, trauma or just the act of urinating. So, it is important to check and differentiate the symptoms of pheochromocytoma from an anxiety attack.
How is the diagnosis made?
The diagnosis can be made in two ways:
- Blood and urine tests
- Tomography or MRI
Blood and urine tests can detect high concentrations of hormones that are common in cases of pheochromocytoma. Due to high blood pressure, it is possible that the doctor prescribes a beta-blocker medication. Because this type of medication makes hypertension worse in people with the disease. This reaction usually defines whether or not the patient has pheochromocytoma.
Magnetic resonance imaging or CT scans can help detect the tumor. However, if a genetic disease is suspected, a third option is to perform genetic tests.
How to treat pheochromocytoma?
Usually, the best treatment is to remove the pheochromocytoma. However, medications are used to control secretions caused by it. But if these secretions are at high levels, surgery can be dangerous.
Attention: To have the correct diagnosis of your symptoms and make an effective and safe treatment, seek the advice of a doctor.