Pituitary Tumors

The pituitary gland is hangs beneath the brain.

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Pituitary Tumors

Half of the gland comes down from the brain which controls the body’s water levels and secretes the hormone ADH. The other half controls sex hormone levels, lactation, growth hormone, body steroids, and the thyroid gland. The pituitary is responsible for almost all of the body’s hormonal systems. Pituitary tumors are common, but in almost 99 % of patients the tumor is not cancerous.

Although the tumor is non cancerous, it can cause problems because of its size, it causes the normal pituitary gland to become under active. Molecular biology studies have shown that an alteration in the DNA of pituitary cells can cause unregulated growth of a particular cell resulting in a pituitary tumor. There are no known environmental causes.

A pituitary tumor is not a brain tumor. The most common type of pituitary tumor is called an endocrine inactive tumor, which destroys some of the hormone-producing cells in the pituitary. Another common pituitary tumor is called a prolactinoma.

Symptoms of a pituitary tumor depend on the type of tumor and the size of the tumor. A large tumor may result in loss of vision, Headache may also occur; the type of headache varies from patient to patient. A tumor may interfere with normal pituitary function causing low thyroid hormone level, loss of sexual function in men, loss of menstrual periods or infertility in women. Occasionally a pituitary tumor causes diabetes insipidus, which results in frequent urination and excessive thirst.


Other sources of information for these topics.

Pituitary Tumor Network Association
For sufferers of various pituitary disorders and their caregivers. Includes glossary, a list of questions to ask doctors, and list of sponsoring ...

What are pituitary tumors? - Endocrinology Health Guide
There are many disorders of the pituitary glands that require clinical care. This health guide covers pituitary tumors.

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