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Ectopic Cushing Syndrome

Causes of Ectopic Cushing Syndrome

While scientists do not know why tumors develop, it is known that tumors are the causes of ectopic Cushing syndrome. When certain types of tumors develop in the body, some release hormones. These hormones work in addition to the hormones released normally by glands in the body, causing high levels of that hormone.
In ectopic Cushing syndrome, benign or cancerous tumors release ACTH signaling the adrenal gland to release cortisol, a stress hormone. This increased level of stress hormone causes serious symptoms and complications.
These are the types of tumors that cause ectopic Cushing syndrome by releasing ACTH:
  • Islet cell tumors (pancreas)
  • Thyroid medullary carcinoma
  • Lung small cell tumors
  • Thymus gland tumors

Locations for Ectopic Cushing Syndrome