This type of tumor, most commonly found in adults, originates within the pituitary gland. This pea-sized gland, located in a small cavity at the base of the skull, produces hormones that influence almost all of the other glands in the body. A tumor on the pituitary gland can disrupt its function. It can affect the body's growth and the functions of other glands.
Characteristics of Pituitary Tumors
Pituitary tumors are usually slow growing and are almost always noncancerous. This type of tumor can grow quite large, and can compress nearby structures. Some types of pituitary tumors can secrete hormones.
Symptoms of a pituitary tumor may include headaches, vision problems and nausea. This type of tumor can cause a wide range of changes in the body, including high blood pressure, abnormal growth and infertility.
Treatment options depend on the characteristics of the tumor, and on the age, size and condition of the patient. A tumor that is causing few or no symptoms may be managed with watchful waiting, and with medications to manage hormone levels. If those methods are not effective, radiation therapy or surgery may be recommended.