Pituitary tumor

Alternative Names

Tumor – pituitary

Definition of Pituitary tumor

A pituitary tumor is an abnormal growth in the pituitary gland, the part of the brain that regulates the body’s balance of hormones.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Most pituitary tumors are noncancerous (benign). Up to 20% of people have pituitary tumors. However, many of these tumors do not cause symptoms and are never diagnosed during the person’s lifetime.

Symptoms

Most pituitary tumors produce too much of one or more hormones. As a result, symptoms of one or more of the following conditions can occur:

Signs and tests

Your health care provider will perform a physical examination. The provider will note any problems with double vision and visual field, such as a loss of peripheral vision or the ability to see in certain areas.

Treatment

Pituitary tumors are usually not cancerous and therefore won’t spread to other areas of the body. However, as they grow, they may place pressure on important nerves and blood vessels.

Expectations (prognosis)

If the tumor can be surgically removed, the outlook is fair to good, depending upon whether the entire tumor is removed.

Review

Ari S. Eckman, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/23/2009

Endocrine glands

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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