Definition of Craniopharyngioma
A craniopharyngioma is a benign tumor that develops near the pituitary gland (a small endocrine gland at the base of the brain).
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
This tumor most commonly affects children 5 – 10 years of age. Adults can sometimes be affected. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop this condition.
Craniopharyngioma causes symptoms in the following ways:
Traditionally, surgery has been the main treatment for craniopharyngioma. However, radiation treatment instead of surgery or along with a smaller surgery may be the best choice for some patients.
In general, the prognosis for patients with craniopharyngioma is good, with an 80-90% chance of permanent cure if the tumor can be completely removed with surgery or treated with high doses of radiation. Most recurrences occur within the first 2 years after surgery.
David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. – 3/2/2010