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Understanding The Pituitary Tumors Symptoms & Management

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A pituitary tumor is a negative growth of the pituitary gland. Some pituitary tumors produce an excess of hormones that regulate vital bodily functions. Certain pituitary tumors can cause your pituitary gland to produce fewer hormones. Most pituitary tumors are noncancerous growths. Adenomas are benign tumors that remain in the pituitary gland or surrounding tissues and do not spread to other body parts.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pituitary Tumors?

Usually, the Symptoms vary depending on the type of tumor and the area of the pituitary gland affected. These tumors can cause symptoms caused by an excess or deficiency of pituitary hormones. The symptoms of each individual may differ. The symptoms may also resemble those of other health issues. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How are Pituitary tumors diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will interview you and perform a physical exam. You may also require one of the following tests:

1. Urine & Blood Tests

Hormone levels in your blood and urine will be determined by these tests.

2. CAT Scan

This test creates images of your body using X-rays and a computer.

3. MRI

This test shows detailed images of organs and structures in your body using large magnets, radio waves, and a computer.

4. Biopsy

The provider removes a tissue sample, this sample is then tested under the microscope. It can also reveal the presence of cancer.

What are the treatments available for Pituitary tumors?

Many tumors do not require treatment. If yours does, the treatment will be determined by the type of tumor, its size, and your overall health. Doctors typically use both surgery and radiation to treat cancerous tumors.

1. Medicines

Depending on your tumor type, your doctor may try this first. If your tumor produces prolactin, medicine can reduce its production and cause it to shrink. Drugs can also be used to treat tumors that have growth hormones, as well as to treat Cushing’s syndrome and acromegaly.

2. Surgery

Unless the tumor produces prolactin, the most common treatment is surgery to remove it. Your doctor may enter through the nose, an opening above the upper lip, or an opening in the skull to perform the surgery. Doctors typically search the skull for larger tumors or those that have spread in a complicated manner.

3. Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy utilizes high-energy X-rays to destroy the tumor. It is beneficial when surgery cannot remove the entire tumor or when the tumor returns and medication do not improve your symptoms. There are various types of radiation, ranging from a high dose administered once through a precise process to smaller doses administered several times a week for 4 to 6 weeks.

Final Thoughts

Getting to know you have a tumor can be frightening. However, The good news is that pituitary adenomas are almost always non cancerous, and treatment usually results in favorable outcomes. Remember that your healthcare provider is your partner in achieving your best health outcomes, so keep them informed of any changes in your feelings.


Dr. Manish Budhiraja is MBBS, MS (Surgery), M.Ch (Neurosurgery) PGIMER Chandigarh, Fellowship in Neuroendoscopy.

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