Signs andsymptoms

The symptoms of a phaeochromocytoma tend to be unpredictable often occurring in sudden attacks lasting from a few minutes to an hour.

These attacks may become more frequent, longer and more severe as the tumour grows.

Although not everyone has them, the three typical symptoms are:

  • severe headaches
  • sweating
  • heart palpitations

Other possible symptoms include:

  • feeling irritable, nervous or anxious
  • pale skin
  • weight loss
  • feeling tired and drowsy
  • uncontrollable shakingor trembling ( tremors )
  • feeling sick
  • shortness of breath
  • a facial flushing sensation (although your skin may look grey during these attacks)
  • feeling dizzy or faint when your stand up (postural or orthostatic hypotension )
  • chest pain or abdominal (tummy) pain

However, some people with phaeochromocytoma never develop symptoms, and their condition is never diagnosed or is only discovered during tests for another problem.

Some people have symptoms for many years before phaeochromocytoma is diagnosed.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018