Best Pituitary Tumor Treatment in Bangalore | Dr. Satish Rudrappa
What is the pituitary?
The pituitary is a small gland, only the size of a pea. Located at the base of the brain, this gland plays a significant role in the proper functioning of several organs. It is called the “master gland” as this small gland controls many vital processes, such as growth, development, and reproduction. It also controls the function of organs, such as the kidneys, breasts, and uterus.
What is a pituitary adenoma?
A pituitary adenoma is a tumor on the pituitary gland. Most pituitary adenomas are not cancerous. and are slow-growing and benign. But it is seen that as they grow bigger, they create a condition commonly known as the mass effect. This effect can put tremendous pressure on nearby nerves that connect the eyes to the brain. If the pituitary adenoma is significant, they can damage healthy cells in the gland leading to a condition known as hypopituitarism.
This condition can cause low blood pressure, changes in sex drive and damage the ability to manage stress in day to day life.
Pituitary adenomas are classified based on their size.
- Microadenomas: Tumours smaller than 1 cm.
- Macroadenomas: Tumours bigger than 1 cm.
Some adenomas may release extra hormones into the bloodstream. Non-functioning adenomas do not release hormones.
How common are pituitary adenomas?
Pituitary adenomas that do not cause significant symptoms go undiagnosed. But a study shows that pituitary adenomas occur in 20% of people. Usually, microadenomas are never found. Macroadenomas are about twice in size compared to microadenomas. Pituitary adenomas are found in people who are in their 30s and 40s. Also, women suffer more from this condition than men.
What causes pituitary adenomas?
Even today, we are unable to pinpoint the exact cause of pituitary adenomas. But some studies have shown that adenomas may develop due to DNA changes. ( DNA is the material that makes up our gene ). The DNA changes cause abnormal changes in the pituitary gland cells. These genetic changes could be hereditary. But most often there have been non-heredity changes as well.
What are the symptoms of a pituitary adenoma?
Depending on the type of hormones that get released by the pituitary tumor, patients may experience various symptoms. Some of the conditions that may develop are:
- Gigantism in children and acromegaly in adults from too much growth hormone (GH)
- Cushing’s disease from too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which triggers the adrenal glands to make steroid hormones
- Hyperthyroidism from too much thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
Some general symptoms of pituitary adenomas include:
- Vision problems (double vision, vision loss)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Change in behaviour, including hostility, depression, and anxiety
- Changes in the sense of smell
- Nasal drainage
- Sexual dysfunction
- Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Achy joints or muscle weakness
- Early menopause
- Changes in menstruation cycle
Tests for Pituitary Tumors
Pituitary tumors, especially the ones smaller in size go undiagnosed and are only found when the individual goes for a consultation to a doctor. The tumors are sometimes found while performing other medical tests.
Medical history and physical exam
If the doctor suspects a pituitary gland tumor, then he will take a complete medical history as the first step. The doctor will also examine the patient for signs of the tumor. He may assess for vision problems too. The doctor may also recommend the individual get his vision tested because tumors can damage nerves near the eyes.
- Blood and urine tests of hormone levels
- Imaging tests
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
It is the best way to find the tumor.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Tests of pituitary tissue samples
The biopsy is one of the effective ways of diagnosing the tumor.
How are pituitary tumors treated?
Treatment for pituitary tumors may include:
- Radiation Therapy
Note: The key to defeat pituitary tumors is early diagnosis and treatment.
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