How are androgen-secreting tumours treated?

The treatment is surgical removal of the tumour. In the case of adrenal tumours this involves adrenalectomy: removal of the whole adrenal gland (Details regarding adrenalectomy may be found in the section on 'Surgery'). For ovarian tumours this can be an ovarian cystectomy (removal of the cyst only) or oophorectomy (removal of the whole ovary).

Chemotherapy or radiotherapy before and after surgery does not seem to alter the end result.

What can be expected after surgery?

The hirsutism regresses the most quickly of all the virilised characteristics, with a more minimal effect seen with the clitoromegaly, baldness and deepened voice.

Overall prognosis is determined by the state of malignancy of the tumour and the age of the patient (with those less than 30 having a better prognosis than those over 30). For example, benign adrenal adenomas have an excellent prognosis post-operatively. Adrenal adenocarcinomas have a poor prognosis due to the fact that most present after the cancer has spread.

The best prognostic indicator for ovarian ASTs is the microscopic activity of the tumour cells. High activity is associated with a poor prognosis.