Before we discuss the symptoms of pituitary tumor, it is important to learn some facts about them. These tumors grow from the pituitary gland. Considering how vital the role of this gland is, a problem to this gland would cause a major impact on the whole body. It can cause hormonal imbalance. In many cases, pituitary tumors are benign. They grow steadily, but not easily turn cancerous. Besides, they are highly treatable. Treatment may include the removal of the tumor. The doctor can also provide medication to control its growth.
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Despite its small size, the pituitary gland plays a role in the secretion of hormones in the body. Those hormones are needed for sexual development, muscle growth, and others. What are the symptoms of pituitary tumor? Since the gland has a function to regular hormones, a tumor can directly influence the release of certain hormones in the body. For example, it can cause inappropriate milk production. It can also cause the menstrual cycle to stop. If this condition happens to a man, he will probably experience symptoms like infertility and erectile dysfunction.
Another type of tumor can actually cause gigantism instead of inhibiting growth. Gigantism is more prevalent in children, while adults will suffer from a condition called acromegaly. Acromegaly is described as abnormal growth. But instead of affecting the patient’s stature, it will stimulate growth of the bones in various parts of the body. Another tumor is notorious for increasing the release of ACTH. This will directly influence the cortisol levels in the body. If there’s too much of this hormone in the system, it would trigger a condition known as Cushing's disease which is characterized by weight gain in certain areas.
Pituitary tumor treatments
The focus is to stop the tumor from causing disruption in hormone production. The patient may be given certain medications to control hormone secretion. Surgical intervention is also necessary. This serves to remove the tumor from the body. There are different approaches that the doctor might consider. The doctor will first examine the characteristics of the tumor and then decide on the most effective surgical procedure. Apart from the size of the tumor, its location also affects the decision. In some cases, the tumor can’t be totally taken out especially when it is located in a critical area. The solution is to remove only part of the tumor. Although it is not thorough, it can still help relieve symptoms.