Every patient’s pituitary tumor is different, consisting of individually unique genes and molecules that drive tumor growth.
Armed with knowledge and experience, Miami Cancer Institute’s oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pharmacists, endocrinologists and otolaryngologists collaborate to design the very best treatment plan to target each patient’s pituitary tumor.
About Pituitary Tumors
The pituitary gland is a pea-sized organ located in the bottom center of the brain. Sometimes referred to as the master endocrine gland, it secretes hormones that stimulate other endocrine glands to function properly. The pituitary gland helps regulate metabolic functions, as well as growth, reproduction and blood pressure levels.
Pituitary tumors can cause either too much or too little hormone production. In most cases, these tumors do not spread and are not considered cancerous. About 10,000 people are diagnosed with pituitary gland tumors in the United States each year.
Pituitary Tumors Risk Factors
The only known risk factors for pituitary tumors are hereditary syndromes including multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and familial isolated pituitary adenoma (FIPA). Genetic counseling and testing is available for these conditions.
Symptoms of Pituitary Tumors
Since the pituitary gland regulates many other hormone-producing organs, symptoms can vary, depending on the affected area. Sometimes pituitary tumors themselves secrete hormones, causing biochemical symptoms.
Pituitary tumors usually cause three or more of the following symptoms:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Growth of jaw, hands and feet
- Breast secretion
- Joint pain
- Excessive bruising
- High or low blood pressure
- Unusual weight changes, including obesity
- Cessation of menstrual periods
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and weakness
Hormone-producing pituitary tumors can cause the following symptoms:
- Weight gain in the upper back and gut
- Development of a hump on the upper back
- Unusual facial roundness
- Unusual growth in hands and feet
- Breast discharge in women
- Breast growth in men
- Loss of muscle and body hair in men
- Irregular heart beat
- Mood swings