Unusual growths that form in the pituitary gland refer to pituitary tumors. This gland is a small organ, roughly the size of a pea. It is located near the base of the brain, behind the nose. Some of these tumors cause the pituitary gland to produce an excessive number of certain hormones that regulate vital bodily processes. Others may make the pituitary gland produce those hormones insufficiently. Most benign pituitary tumors are. That implies that they are not cancer.
The term “pituitary adenomas” is another term for these benign tumors. Most adenomas are slow-growing tumors that remain in or near the pituitary gland. Normally, they do not spread to other bodily areas. There are several approaches to treating pituitary tumors. Surgical removal of the tumor is an option. Alternatively, it may be possible to stop its growth by using medicine or radiation treatment.
Symptoms of Pituitary Tumors
The symptoms of pituitary tumors vary. These tumors are occasionally discovered after an imaging examination, such as an MRI or CT scan, that is carried out for another cause. Pituitary tumors typically do not require treatment if they do not produce any symptoms. Pituitary tumor symptoms may arise due to a tumor pressing on the brain or other adjacent organs.
Symptoms may also arise due to an imbalance in hormones. When a pituitary tumor produces an excessive amount of one or more hormones, hormone levels may increase. Or, hormone levels might drop as a result of a sizable tumor that interferes with the pituitary gland’s functionality.
Your healthcare professional will do a physical examination and inquire about your medical history. Additionally, you may require one of the following tests:
Blood and urine tests
These tests will examine your blood and urine for hormone levels.
In this examination, your body is imaged using X-rays and a computer.
This examination creates finely detailed pictures of the organs and body parts within your body using big magnets, radio waves, and a computer.
The doctor performs surgery or uses a needle to retrieve a tissue sample for this test. Then it is examined under a microscope. Thus, if cancer or other abnormal cells are present, a biopsy can detect them.
Treatment of Pituitary Tumors
Surgery to Remove the Tumor
Smaller tumors typically benefit more from surgery.
External Radiation (external beam therapy)
Through this procedure, the cancer cells receive a high dose of radiation. To safeguard the tissue surrounding the treatment region, there is the utilization of specialized shields. Also, these procedures normally just a few minutes and are painless.
Radiosurgery (stereotactic radiosurgery) or Gamma Knife Treatment
The malignant tissue is directly exposed to one large dose of radiation in this method. To neighboring tissues, it does less harm. In reality, it is not surgery. But much as with surgery, the tumor is removable in only one session of therapy.
It is possible to utilize a variety of medications to regulate the tumor’s production of growth hormones.
When To Consult a Doctor
Consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms that could be related to a pituitary tumor. Treatment for these tumors frequently reduces symptoms and restores hormone levels to a healthy level. Some pituitary tumors originate in families, although being uncommon.
As a result, they are a family thing. Pituitary tumors can be specifically brought on by the inherited condition known as multiple endocrine neoplasias, type 1 (MEN 1). Thus, if MEN 1 runs in your family, ask your doctor about screenings that might aid in the early detection of a pituitary tumor.