A pituitary Gland Tumor is an abnormal growth in the pituitary gland that develops over time. Some pituitary tumors cause hypersecretion of hormones that control vital physiological functions. Your pituitary gland may produce excessive hormones as a result of some pituitary tumor. The most common tumor is prolactinoma, growth hormone-secreting (acromegaly), and Cushing’s disease.
The majority of pituitary tumors are benign (noncancerous) growths (adenomas). Adenomas are benign tumors that stay in the pituitary gland or surrounding tissues and do not spread to other regions of the body.
A pituitary tumor can be treated in a variety of ways, including growth control, surgical removal, and pharmacological management of hormone levels or Radiosurgery.
What is Pituitary Gland?
The pituitary is known as the “master gland” because it not only secretes its own hormones but also instructs other glands to do so.
The front (anterior) lobe and the rear (posterior) lobe are the two primary portions of your pituitary gland. A stalk of blood vessels and nerves connects the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. The hypothalamus connects with the anterior lobe via hormones and the posterior lobe by nerve impulses through that stalk.
Your pituitary gland is roughly the size of a peanut and is located immediately beyond the bridge of your nose in a bony depression. A tiny stalk connects it to the base of your brain. Because it regulates multiple other hormone glands in your body, such as the thyroid and adrenals, as well as the ovaries and testicles.
Symptoms of Pituitary Gland Tumor:
The following symptoms or indicators may be experienced by those who have a pituitary gland tumor. Signs and symptoms, when combined, can assist define a medical condition. People with a pituitary gland tumor may experience any of the signs and symptoms listed below.
- Vision problems- field of vision reduction
- Unexplained tiredness
- Mood changes
- Unexplained changes in menstrual cycles
- Unexplained excessive weight Gain.
- Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection and is caused by hormone changes
- Infertility is the inability to have children
- Unexpected breast growth or production of breast milk
- Cushing’s syndrome is a combination of weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, and easy bruising that is caused by overproduction of the hormone ACTH.
- Acromegaly: the enlargement of the arms or legs and thickening of the skull and jaw caused by the increase of growth hormone in the body.
How is it diagnosed?
One of the peculiarities of Pituitary tumors- are frequently misdiagnosed due to symptoms that are similar to those of other illnesses. Some pituitary tumors are discovered as a result of medical examinations for other reasons.
Your doctor will most likely take a full history and do a physical exam to detect a pituitary tumor. Your doctor may advise imaging MRI or CT scan to detect tumor:
Brain imaging is a technique for examining the brain. A brain CT scan or MRI can aid your doctor in determining the location and size of a pituitary tumor.
Tests of the blood and urine. These tests can establish whether you have an excess of hormones or a lack.
Testing of vision
This might help you figure out if a pituitary tumor has harmed your eyesight or your peripheral vision.
Your doctor may also send you to an endocrinologist for further evaluation of hormones.
What are the treatments available?
The majority of pituitary tumors do not necessitate surgery. The type of tumor, its size, and how far it has spread into your brain determine your treatment options. Your age and overall health are other important considerations.
A team of medical professionals, including an ENT surgeon, a brain surgeon (neurosurgeon) and (endocrinologist), and a radiation oncologist, may be involved in treatment. To treat a pituitary tumor and restore hormone production to normal levels, doctors often utilize surgery, radiation treatment, and medicines, either alone or in combination.
It is the most common method of treating a pituitary tumor. A neurosurgeon performs the surgery. Surgical removal of the whole tumor is frequently successful. A microscope or endoscope or both can be used to operate. It can be operated through the nose another through skull.
The trans-sphenoidal approach is used to remove a pituitary gland tumor in around 94% of cases. This entails passing via the nasal channel and along the septum, which divides the two nostrils. The neurosurgeon next proceeds to the pituitary gland, which is placed just below the sphenoid sinus cavity. The sphenoid sinus, a hollow area in the skull below the nasal passages and below the brain, is used for trans-sphenoidal surgery. The pituitary gland is protected by the rear wall of the sinus.
The use of high-energy x-rays or other particles to eliminate tumor cells is known as radiation therapy. A radiation oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating tumors with radiation treatment.
External-beam radiation therapy, in which radiation is delivered from a machine outside the body, is the most prevalent method of radiation treatment.
Radiation therapy for a pituitary gland tumor can be given using photons, protons, or gamma rays. Each of these therapies has the potential to be beneficial. The kind that is utilized is determined by the circumstances.
Radiation treatment is not required if the entire tumor is surgically removed. When any portion of the pituitary gland tumor remains after surgery, stereotactic radiation treatment is useful for certain individuals. This type of radiation therapy targets the tumor directly with a high dosage of radiation.
Fatigue, moderate skin responses, unsettled stomach, and loose bowel motions are all possible side effects of radiation therapy. The majority of these adverse effects subside once therapy is completed.
Medication-based therapies for pituitary gland tumors are based on the hormones in the body that are influenced by the tumor and its therapy. Medication can be injected directly into the bloodstream. Systemic treatment refers to the administration of medicine in this manner.
An endocrinologist or a medical oncologist, a specialist who specializes in treating tumors with medicine.
You’ll most likely begin by seeing your primary care physician. If your doctor discovers signs of a pituitary tumor, he or she may refer you to a number of experts, including a brain surgeon (neurosurgeon) or an endocrine system specialist (endocrinologist). We at NeuroWellness brain and spine care center provide the best care and have the perfect doctors that can help you if you have any brain or spine-related problems. We want you to live your life to the fullest and stay healthy! Book an appointment today.
M.B.B.S., DNB – Neurosurgery FINR – Fellow Interventional Neuroradiology, Switzerland Consultant Neurosurgeon – Brain and Spine Neuroendovascular Surgeon.
I’m Dr Ganesh Veerabhadraiah a renowned Neurosurgeon in Bangalore – Brain and Spine and Interventional Neuroradiology/Neuroendovascular specialist, currently heading Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bengaluru. After completing his MBBS, Dr Ganesh went ahead with DNB in super speciality post-graduation degree Neurosurgery at the prestigious Manipal Hospital.