What are the Pituitary Tumor symptoms?

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ID-100122577Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths (tumors) mostly adnoma, a non-cancerous tumor, which occurs in pituitary gland. Most of the pituitary tumors are benign in nature and only a small fraction (0.1 to 0.2% of all pituitary tumors) of pituitary tumors are cancerous. Most of the pituitary tumors (adnomas) remain confined to pituitary gland itself and do not spread to nearby tissues. Pituitary tumors form approximately 15-20% of tumors (neoplasms) that occur in the brain.

Some of the pituitary tumors secrete hormones that control important body functions whereas some tumors reduce hormone secretion and thereby reduce important body functions.

What are the symptoms of pituitary tumors?

Pituitary tumors can lead to too much secretion of hormones or too little secretion of important hormones and accordingly produce symptoms. Larger tumors (more than one centimeter in size) can put pressure on nearby tissues and produce symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of pituitary tumors include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Symptoms of deficiency of pituitary hormones (read symptoms of pituitary hormone deficiency/excess)
  • Loss or disturbance of vision, especially loss or disturbance of peripheral vision
  • Generalized weakness
  • Loss of hair
  • Menstrual disturbance in women, especially less frequent menstruation or amenorrhea (no menstruation)
  • Increased frequency of urination as well as increased amount of urination
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain, which is unintentional

What treatment options are available for pituitary tumors?

Treatment depends on the size of pituitary tumor and extent of involvement of neighboring structures. Age of patient and general health of patient are also an important factors in determining treatment modality. Early diagnosis has profound influence of outcome of treatment. Patient may be given, medications, pituitary tumor surgery, radiation, under supervision. Hence a team of doctors decide the treatment modality, that include neurosurgeon, radiotherapist, oncologist, endocrinologist, neurologist etc.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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