Pituitary Tumors – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Diagnosis
Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Diagnosis. Pituitary Tumors are a type of cancer that affects the pituitary gland. This gland is located in the head and is responsible for controlling many functions in the body. Some of the symptoms of this disease include weight loss, headaches, sleep problems, and fatigue. The symptoms may also lead to a decrease in the amount of hormones produced in the body. The symptoms can be prevented with proper medical care.
Depending on the location, size, and type of pituitary tumor, treatment may include surgical removal, radiation therapy, or medication. Symptoms of the disease can be sudden or gradual. When detected early, the prognosis is good. However, if left untreated, the tumor may lead to serious complications such as blindness.
A pituitary tumor affects the production of hormones in the body. These hormones help regulate several important functions. They send signals to body organs to help control the metabolism and other processes. When a tumor interferes with the normal functioning of the pituitary gland, it can cause hormone imbalances that last for the rest of the patient’s life.
A pituitary tumor can be found through a biopsy or by performing diagnostic imaging tests. These tests can detect the size of the tumor, the presence of any tumors in the surrounding areas, and the location of the tumor. They can also detect if the tumor is cancerous.
The tumor may be removed by using an endoscope, which consists of a thin tube inserted through the nose. Alternatively, it can be removed through the skull. In more serious cases, a craniotomy may be performed. This is a more invasive procedure that requires a longer hospital stay.
An MRI scan or CT scan is often used to detect the presence of a pituitary tumor. These tests can also measure the amount of hormones in the blood or urine. During the diagnostic evaluation, the health care provider will look for signs of too much prolactin. If the test results show that the hormones are too high, the patient may be prescribed medication to help with the condition.
The health care provider may prescribe hormone-blocking medications to prevent the symptoms of the pituitary tumor from recurring. Occasionally, the patient will be referred to an endocrinologist.
If the tumor has already spread to other parts of the body, radiation therapy may be used to kill the cancerous cells. This treatment is usually administered five times a week for a few weeks. The radiation can also be used to help control the growth of the tumor.
Symptoms of pituitary tumors depend on the type of tumor and its impact on the production of hormones in the body. They may be relieved by hormone replacement therapy. If the tumor is located in the brain, it may cause problems with vision. It can also press on the optic nerves, causing blindness.
Some tumors do not cause symptoms at all. They may only be small. However, they can spread to other parts of the body. In such cases, surgery is often needed to remove the tumor. In other cases, surgery may not be necessary.
If the pituitary tumor has a large impact on the production of hormones, the symptoms may be permanent. They may include low sex drive, lower sexual development, less frequent menstrual periods, and amenorrhea. Depending on the type of tumor, it can cause permanent changes to the eyes, nervous system, and reproductive system.
During diagnosis, a healthcare provider may perform blood and urine tests to check the levels of hormones in the blood. These tests can help determine if the tumor has caused any hormone deficiency.
The healthcare provider can also do an imaging test. This can help determine the location of the tumor and its size. It can also show whether the tumor has spread to other areas of the body.
The health care provider can also check for signs of over-activity of the thyroid gland. This condition is commonly known as hyperthyroidism. If there is too much activity, the patient may experience symptoms such as headaches, sweating, and weight loss.
Other symptoms of pituitary tumors can include hair growth, changes in the sense of smell, anxiety, and lethargy. During treatment, the health care provider can prescribe medication, careful monitoring, or a combination of both.
There are clinical trials for pituitary tumors. These are designed to gather information on new treatments. They may become standard treatments in the future. Some clinical trials are only open to patients who have not yet started treatment.
Choosing a healthcare provider who has a lot of experience treating pituitary tumors can help ensure a good outcome. It is important to understand the tumor and its symptoms so that the doctor can create a treatment plan that is right for you.
Several treatment options are available for pituitary tumors. These include surgery, drug therapy, and radiation therapy. The type of treatment you receive will depend on the size of your tumor and your symptoms. Your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you and help you decide if a clinical trial is right for you.
The National Cancer Institute has information about pituitary tumors. You can search for a clinical trial by location or type. The NCI also provides general information about clinical trials.
Surgical removal is a common treatment for pituitary tumors. The surgeon will use an endoscope to insert through your nose to remove the tumor. Then, you will take medication to replace the hormones the tumor produces.
The amount of medication you need will depend on the size and type of pituitary tumor. Other factors that determine your treatment plan are the location of the tumor, your age, and your health. If the tumor is large, it may be necessary to remove parts of the brain.
You may also need to take hormone replacement therapy. This means that you will take medications to replace the hormones your pituitary tumor is producing. You will be monitored for any signs of growth. A small tissue sample will be taken from the pituitary gland and analyzed. If it is discovered that the tumor is cancerous, you will need to undergo chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells.
If your tumor is small, your doctor may be able to treat it with an eye exam and blood tests. The test checks your vision, your general health, and any other symptoms you have. If you don’t have any symptoms, you may not need to be treated at all.
If the pituitary tumor has spread to other parts of your body, you may have to undergo radiation therapy. Depending on your type of tumor, you may need to have this procedure before or after surgery.
Depending on your age, your health, and the location of your pituitary tumor, you may need to monitor the growth of the tumor with serial imaging. Then, you may need to follow up with additional tests to make sure your treatment is working.
Symptoms of pituitary tumors vary depending on the type of pituitary tumor. They may also be accompanied by other conditions. Fortunately, pituitary tumors are generally benign. However, they can produce excess hormones, which may cause certain symptoms. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, you should see a doctor. The early detection of these diseases is essential for controlling them.
Pituitary tumors are diagnosed with blood tests and imaging methods. These tests help to determine the location and size of the tumor. They also help to determine whether the tumor is malignant or not. They may be removed surgically or with radiation. These procedures are done with little risk. The treatment depends on the size of the tumor and the spread of the disease.
To diagnose a pituitary tumor, your doctor will take a blood sample from both sides of the pituitary gland. Then, he will test the level of various hormones in the blood.
These hormones control many important functions in the body. Your doctor will also check for hereditary syndromes, which can increase your chances of developing a pituitary tumor. In addition, you might undergo a CT scan to determine the size and shape of the pituitary tumor. You might be injected with a contrast dye, which will illuminate the area where the tumor is located.
If the tumor is small and is only pressing against the brain, you might not even experience any symptoms. But, if the tumor is large enough to press on the optic nerve, it can cause side vision problems and can interfere with your field of vision. Symptoms can range from a headache to decreased vision.
If you have a pituitary tumor, your treatment plan will depend on its size and the spread of the disease. There are some medications that can help control the number of hormones produced by the tumor. This can include octreotide-LAR therapy, which can shrink the tumor. Alternatively, you can have a craniotomy, which is surgery that opens the skull.
If you are diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, you can find out more about treatment at the Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Center. This medical center is a multidisciplinary program that offers both surgical and medical treatments for patients with pituitary disorders.
Health A to Z. (n.d.). HSE.ie. https://www2.hse.ie/az/
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Directory Health Topics. (n.d.). https://www.healthline.com/directory/topics
Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-a-z-4014770
Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z. https://www.health.harvard.edu/health-a-to-z
Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.). EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/