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types of cancer

Pituitary Tumors

Overview

Pituitary cancers are rare and are, largely, considered benign. The term benign means that pituitary cancers don’t spread to other parts of the body, like most other types of cancer do. However, benign pituitary tumors can cause a significant number of health problems because they usually occur near the brain and secrete excess hormones.

Symptoms

The symptoms usually occur based on the differentiation of the tumor being functional or non-functional. Functional tumors cause oversecretion of hormones, while non-functional tumors don’t secrete excess hormones. Pituitary tumors are usually large enough to press on nearby nerves or parts of the brain, leading to symptoms, such as:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Sudden blindness
  • Headaches
  • Facial numbness or pain
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Causes

    Based on certain studies, experts say that DNA can make the cells in the pituitary gland to produce a tumor as there are no known lifestyle-related or environmental causes of pituitary tumors.

    Diagnosis

    These tumors sometimes don’t show any symptoms and are later found by medical tests done for other health problems. Signs and symptoms might suggest that a person could have a pituitary tumor but to confirm the same, certain tests are needed such as:

  • Testing for diabetes
  • Venous blood sampling
  • Imaging tests
  • Tests of pituitary tissue samples
  • Treatment

    Surgery and radiation therapy are the main forms of treatment and may slow the rate of tumor growth and prevent or relieve symptoms. Chemotherapy and newer targeted therapy drugs could be recommended.

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