Pituitary Gland Tumors (Adenomas)

Pituitary Gland Tumors (Adenomas)

Tumors originating from the pituitary gland are called adenomas or carcinomas. Pituitary adenomas are benign, slow-growing masses and represent about 10% of all primary brain tumors. The rare malignant form of pituitary tumor is called pituitary carcinoma. It is diagnosed only when it is proven that the tumor has spread (metastasized) beyond the pituitary gland.

The majority of pituitary gland tumors grow in the front two-thirds of the pituitary gland. These tumors are classified as secreting and non-secreting. Excessive amounts of hormones are produced by a secreting tumor. Most pituitary tumors fall into this category and are further classified by the type(s) of hormone they produce.

Pituitary Gland Tumor Symptoms

At times pituitary gland tumors do not show any symptoms, although when symptoms do present they may include:

  • Acromegaly, the enlargement of the arms, legs, and face and thickening of the skull and jaw. This is caused by too much growth hormone
  • Changes in menstrual cycles in women
  • Cushing’s syndrome, which is a combination of weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, and easy bruising that is caused by overproduction of ACTH
  • Headaches
  • Impotence—the inability to achieve or maintain an erection in men—caused by hormone changes
  • Inappropriate production of breast milk
  • Infertility
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Vision problems including blurred vision and loss of peripheral vision

Getting Diagnosed

Our team of specialists provides the most up-to-date evaluations using the latest diagnostic and imaging technology.

We work very closely with the departments of Neurosurgery, Interventional Neuroradiology, Neurology and Radiation Oncology, as well as the Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Center and Skull Base Center to ensure an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment for the best outcome.

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The Neuroscience Institute

We are dedicated to the world-class diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases and disorders.