Signs & Symptoms

For Parents and Patients

In children, the most common symptoms of adrenocortical tumors (ACT) happen when the tumor cells make too many male hormones called androgens. Making too many androgens often causes signs of male puberty (changing into a man), such as:

  • Hair growing on the face,
  • Acne (pimples),
  • Sex organs growing larger than normal,
  • Child growing more than normal, or
  • Voice change.

In addition to androgens, almost half of children with ACT make too much of other types of hormone, such as cortisol, estrogen and aldosterone. In addition to signs of male puberty, they might have:

  • Weight gain,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Headaches,
  • Weaker muscles or less muscle, or
  • Anxious feelings and thoughts.

In rare cases, stomach pain or discomfort is the main symptom of ACT in a child.