Pituitary tumors are variable, and patients can experience a wide range of symptoms. Learning about the symptoms and pituitary tumor treatment options can help you understand the symptoms you are experiencing.
- Some pituitary tumor symptoms are because the tumor is pressing on adjacent structures.
- Secreting pituitary tumors release hormones that can affect the body and cause symptoms.
- It is vital to work with a doctor in northern NJ who understands pituitary tumors and can effectively manage your case.
Not All Pituitary Tumors are Created Equal
Pituitary tumors can vary in size, makeup and the symptoms they cause, so you’ll want a doctor who is experienced and knowledgeable about pituitary tumor treatments. Learning more about your tumor will help you as you move through the diagnosis, treatment and recovery stages of your care. One crucial aspect is understanding your symptoms and their meaning, particularly if you’re still in the diagnosis and treatment planning stage.
About Pituitary Tumors
The pituitary gland may be small, but it’s called the “master switch” of the body for a reason. The gland is pea-sized and sits within the sella turcica, an area of the skull near the back of the nose. The pituitary gland is important because it consists of different cell types, and each type secretes an important hormone. These hormones, in turn, affect other hormones with vital roles within the body, such as growth, thyroid function and cortisol release.
A pituitary tumor can have any of these cells, which is why the symptoms can be so variable. These tumor cells may release excess hormones, making it a secreting tumor. Other tumors do not, hence making them non-secreting tumors. Either type of pituitary tumor may still cause symptoms and/or necessitate treatment by pressing on adjacent structures, such as blood vessels and nerves.
Pituitary Tumor Symptoms
Your pituitary tumor symptoms are not necessarily going to be the same as the next patient’s. However, recognizing these symptoms and sharing them with your doctor will help provide essential information to facilitate an accurate diagnosis. Your symptoms will depend on the size of your tumor, whether or not it’s secreting and what (if any) structures it’s impacting.
A tumor that has grown large enough to press on nearby structures can cause:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vision issues
- Changes in the sense of smell
- Nasal drainage
- Facial numbness
Secreting pituitary tumor symptoms will depend on which hormones are in excess. These symptoms can vary in presentation and severity and can include:
- Reproductive issues, such as infertility, disrupted menstrual cycle, erectile dysfunction and nipple discharge
- Cushing’s syndrome, including acne, excessive hair growth, rapid weight gain, fat at the base of the neck, rounded facial appearance and thickened skin
- Thyroid issues, affecting concentration, energy levels, appetite and weight loss
- Enlarged hands and feet, joint and bone pain, growth of the skull and headaches
Diagnosing a Pituitary Tumor
Some patients do not experience any symptoms and learn about a pituitary tumor when a doctor discovers it while ordering imaging for another condition. However, if you do experience pituitary tumor symptoms, these can act as clues to help your doctor determine what types of cells make up your tumor. This information, along with diagnostic imaging like a CT scan or MRI, will help your doctor develop a treatment plan appropriate for your specific condition.
Your best approach is to work with a specialist in the tri-state area who has experience diagnosing and treating pituitary tumors. A person with a small pituitary tumor that secretes growth hormone may require a very different treatment plan than someone with a large non-secreting pituitary tumor. These nuances significantly impact which pituitary tumor treatment option will be most effective for you, and working with an experienced NJ doctor will ensure you receive appropriate care.
Find a Doctor Who Understands Pituitary Tumors
At this point, you can appreciate how different pituitary tumors can be in their presentation and the symptoms they cause. That’s why you should work with a specialist in the tri-state area who can help diagnose your pituitary tumor properly, then work with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Pituitary tumor treatment can include careful monitoring, medication, surgery, Gamma Knife radiosurgery or a combination approach. With so many factors to consider, an experienced doctor will be able to guide you along your treatment path.
Once you find the doctor in NJ that is right for you, they will work with you to ensure you are comfortable at all stages along the way. As you move forward through this process, be sure to maintain an open line of discussion with your doctor. They will be able to help you relate the information you learn on your own to your specific status. Continue educating yourself about your condition and the pituitary tumor treatment options available in NJ. This understanding will help you have peace of mind, allowing you to rest easy knowing your health is in good hands.