Pituitary Tumors

What a Pituitary Tumor?

When a person is suffering from a Pituitary Tumors, it means that they have a growth on their pituitary gland that is abnormal and is more than likely disruptive to the proper functions and activity of that particular gland. The pituitary gland is located near the brain, just behind the nose and near the optic nerve. This gland is perhaps the most important in the body as it controls other glands. It is also a major part of growth and development.

As such, a pituitary tumor can cause numerous issues and problems. Many pituitary tumors are known as adenomas and are non-cancerous localized tumors that do not spread outside of the area of the pituitary gland. However, some are cancerous. Whether the pituitary tumor is cancerous or not, it will cause disruptions in the normal functions of the pituitary gland.

The cause of pituitary tumors is often unknown. However, they can be linked to hereditary conditions like a condition known as multiple endocrine neoplasia I. Many pituitary tumors do not cause symptoms. Those that do cause health problems can cause issues with other glands as well as other organs throughout the body.

What are the Symptoms of a Pituitary Tumor?

Pituitary symptoms can cause numerous symptoms. Headaches are common with this type of tumor as are vision problems, fatigue, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms can also include mood change, sexual dysfunction, changes in menstruation, Cushing’s syndrome, and gigantism or acromegaly (due to higher production of growth hormone).

How is a Pituitary Tumor Treated?

If a pituitary tumor causes symptoms, it likely will require surgery to be treated. This involves the removal of the tumor alone or more likely, the removal of the entire pituitary gland.

Sometimes, radiation therapy is also necessary. Radiation therapy shrinks tumors and prevents tumor growth, and can be used with surgery or sometimes instead of surgery.

Medications may also be able to help with regulating hormone imbalances and if the pituitary gland is removed can replace the missing hormones to keep the endocrine system functioning.

Last Reviewed:
October 08, 2016
Last Updated:
August 28, 2017