Pituitary Tumors

Lance E. Gravely MD, Inc

Neurosurgeon located in Pasadena, CA & Encino, CA

Headaches, vision problems, and unexplained weight gain or loss are just a few of the signs of a pituitary tumor. If you’re worried about these symptoms, then it’s time to contact board-certified neurosurgeon Lance E. Gravely, MD. With offices conveniently located in Pasadena and Encino, California, the practice sets you on the path to recovery with technologically advanced, but conservative treatments for pituitary tumors. To find out more, call or book a consultation online today.

Pituitary Tumors Q & A

What is a pituitary tumor?

A pituitary tumor is an abnormal growth of cells in your pituitary gland. Nearly all pituitary tumors are noncancerous but can still cause serious health problems.

Your pituitary gland sits just below your brain, near your optic nerve and nasal passages. This gland forms a critical link between your brain and endocrine system, which produces hormones.

Because your pituitary gland is close to your brain, a tumor here can invade structures in your head and cause significant health problems. A pituitary tumor pressing on your brain and nerves can cause headaches and affect your eyesight.

Typically, when pituitary cancer occurs, it’s because there is cancer in another part of your body, and it’s spread to your pituitary gland. Pituitary cancer can happen at any age, but most cases occur in older adults.

What are the symptoms of a pituitary tumor?

Not all pituitary tumors cause symptoms. As they grow larger, destroying the pituitary gland and affecting your hormones, you might experience:

  • Headaches
  • Vision problems, including blurred or double vision and eye weakness
  • Loss of peripheral vision or sudden blindness
  • Numbness or pain in your face
  • Dizziness or passing out

The tumor may cause lower-than-normal amounts of essential hormones, such as cortisol and thyroid hormone. This may trigger symptoms that include nausea, weakness, and unexplained weight loss or weight gain.

How is a pituitary tumor diagnosed?

Your doctor begins with a complete medical history and may ask whether any family members

have had tumors or other conditions. You may need blood or urine tests to measure your hormone levels, along with imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI scan.

How is a pituitary tumor treated?

Your treatment generally depends on a variety of factors, including how the tumor affects your hormone levels. The size also matters. A tumor that’s smaller than 1 centimeter across, which is called a microadenoma, is typically treated differently than a tumor that’s more than 1 centimeter—what’s known as a macroadenoma.

Your doctor may discuss options that include surgery or medications to relieve your symptoms and shrink the tumor. Your doctor will counsel you on the risks and benefits of each option to create a treatment plan that’s right for you.

To find out more about your options to regain your health, call or schedule a consultation online today with Lance E. Gravely, MD.