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What Happens To Untreated Paraganglioma & When To Go To Doctor For It?

Paraganglioma belongs to the category of a tumor, which takes place from an individual’s peripheral nervous system. Here, the peripheral nervous system implies the part of one’s nervous system that remains outside of the spinal cord and brain. Neurologists further divide this part into parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.(1)

Paraganglioma or any other similar type of neuroendocrine tumor starts whenever the DNA consists of healthy cells suffer damages leading to changes in the cells and growing out of control to form a mass.(2)

Approximately 75percent of total Paraganglioma cases are of sporadic ones. In contrast, 25percent of them are hereditary and have a relatively higher likelihood to multiply and develop at initial age groups.(3)

Research studies have even revealed that about 25percent to 30percent of paraganglioma cases take place from genetic variations or mutations in certain genes. These genetic mutations are of inherited ones as similar to autosomal dominant traits. Two different genes determine the problem of genetic problems i.e. the one received from the mother and the other one received from the father.(4)

What Happens To Untreated Paraganglioma?

We all know that surgery is the single recommendable treatment to cure the condition of paraganglioma. If you leave it untreated, it leads to life-threatening or severe damage to your brain.

In some cases, untreated paraganglioma progresses to reach a point, where you fail to overcome your condition even with surgical treatment.(5)

Paraganglioma type of tumor initially grows at a slow rate and is of benign i.e. noncancerous type. However, if left untreated, it invades to different body parts to metastasize or spread distantly. In most of the cases, Paraganglioma tumor takes place between 30years and 50years age people.

About half of the total Paraganglioma tumors contain abnormal cells, which produce adrenaline or catecholamines hormones. These hormones belong to the category of fight or flight hormones and they induce rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, sweating, flushed skin, tremors, headache, and other similar problems.(5)

When To Consult Your Doctor For Paraganglioma?

You should consult your doctor when you experience certain symptoms, which are similar to those that occur in the case of Paraganglioma tumor. Persistent high blood pressure or its various episodes, which are difficult to control is the common symptom of Paraganglioma. You may experience a few of the additional problems with uncontrollable hypertension if you have Paraganglioma, such as rapid heartbeat rate, headache, and heavy sweating issue. Along with this, the tumor comes with other possible symptoms, which include the following-

  • Fever and anxiety attacks
  • Extreme paleness in the patient’s face
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Breathing shortness
  • Shakiness or tremors
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Constipation
  • Clammy skin
  • Vision disturbances
  • Tingling of fingers
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Stomach or chest pain
  • High blood glucose or sugar levels

Symptoms in Paraganglioma patients take place whenever the tumor releases adrenaline hormones in excessive amounts in their bloodstream. A few people even experience such symptoms multiple times in one day, while others have on a weekly or monthly basis. Episodes last for only a few seconds to a few minutes, while in some cases, symptoms last for many hours or many numbers of days.(6)


If you leave your Paraganglioma untreated, you may experience several adverse conditions, including a severe form of damage to your brain. On the other hand, the untreated tumor of this type may spread to other body parts to become a cancerous disease. Hence, we recommend you visit a doctor once you experience certain groups of symptoms associated with Paraganglioma, like uncontrollable high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and many more.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 29, 2020

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