Pituitary Tumor Directory
The pituitary gland is a part of the brain that makes and controls hormones. A tumor in the pituitary gland is an abnormal growth that can inhibit its ability to function correctly. Pituitary tumors have three main types: benign, invasive adenoma (benign tumors that have spread to the bones), and carcinoma (cancer). Genetics can play a role in some pituitary tumors as well as certain conditions. Treatments may include surgery, radiation, and more. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how a pituitary tumor is caused, what it looks like, how to treat it, and much more.
Pituitary Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]-Treatment Option Overview
There are different types of treatment for patients with pituitary tumors.Different types of treatments are available for patients with pituitary tumors. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment.Four types of standard treatment are used:SurgeryMany pituitary tumors can be removed by surgery using one of the following operations:Transsphenoidal surgery: A type of surgery in which the instruments are inserted into part of the brain by going through an incision (cut) made under the upper lip or
Pituitary Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]-Treatment Options for Pituitary Tumors
A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.Non-functioning Pituitary TumorsTreatment may include the following: Surgery (transsphenoidal surgery, if possible) to remove the tumor, followed by watchful waiting (closely monitoring a patient's condition without giving any treatment until symptoms appear or change). Radiation therapy is given if the tumor comes back.Radiation therapy alone.Treatment for luteinizing hormone -producing and follicle-stimulating hormone -producing tumors is usually transsphenoidal surgery to remove the tumor.Prolactin-Producing Pituitary TumorsTreatment may include the following:Drug therapy to stop the tumor from making prolactin and to stop the tumor from growing.Surgery to remove the tumor (transsphenoidal surgery or craniotomy) when the tumor does
Pituitary Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]-Stages of Pituitary Tumors
Once a pituitary tumor has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if it has spread within the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or to other parts of the body. The extent or spread of cancer is usually described as stages. There is no standard staging system for pituitary tumors. Once a pituitary tumor is found, tests are done to find out if the tumor has spread into the brain or to other parts of the body. The following test may be used: MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).Pituitary tumors are described in several ways.Pea, peanut, walnut, and lime show tumor sizes.Pituitary tumors are described by their size and grade, whether or not they make extra hormones, and whether the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.The following sizes are used:Microadenoma: The tumor is
Pituitary Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI]-Recurrent Pituitary Tumors
A recurrent pituitary tumor is cancer that has recurred (come back) after it has been treated. The cancer may come back in the pituitary gland or in other parts of the body.