Frequently Asked Questions About Pituitary Tumors

A board-certified neurosurgeon, Dr. Ilyas Munshi treats a wide range of conditions affecting the spine, nerves, and brain. For information on diagnosing and treating tumors of the pituitary gland, contact Dr. Ilyas Munshi at his private practice in Lafayette, Louisiana.

What is a pituitary tumor, and what causes it?

The pituitary gland is an endocrine gland in the brain that helps regulate the release of hormones in the body, and abnormal growths in this gland are known as pituitary tumors. The cause of these types of tumors is unknown, but they tend to occur in older adults. Some pituitary tumors occur in people who have the hereditary disorder MEN I.

What are the signs and symptoms of a pituitary tumor?

Because the pituitary gland helps regulate other endocrine glands, a tumor can alter hormone levels and lead to conditions such as hyperthyroidism, gigantism, and Cushing syndrome. Large tumors can also cause pressure in the brain and lead to headaches, nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances.

How are pituitary tumors treated?

There are medications that can help shrink pituitary tumors and prevent the secretion of excess hormones. Radiation therapy may also be employed to shrink a tumor. Surgical excision is indicated, however, if the tumor is large and poses the risk of affecting the patient’s vision.

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