Your doctor will recommend treatment for your pituitary tumor depending on your individual condition. There are multiple pituitary tumor treatments available in NJ.
- Small tumors may require no treatment.
- Medications can help ease symptoms and shrink some tumors.
- A doctor can remove all or part of your tumor using surgery.
- Gamma Knife radiosurgery is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option available in the tri-state area.
Your Pituitary Tumor Treatment in NJ
Pituitary tumors are very common, with over 10,000 diagnosed in the United States every year. Many of these tumors are discovered in patients without symptoms, who are undergoing imaging for unrelated reasons. In fact, many pituitary tumors go undetected because they never grow large enough to cause symptoms and don’t secrete any hormones.
However, many patients in northern NJ will require pituitary tumor treatment because the tumor is causing issues. Not every pituitary tumor will require intervention. Whether you already have a procedure scheduled or have only been recently diagnosed, it can be helpful to understand the pituitary tumor treatment options in NJ. The following information will assist you as you discuss your specific case with your personal doctor as you progress along your treatment path.
About Pituitary Tumors
The pituitary gland may be small, but it plays a vital role in your body. The gland sits within a part of the skull called the sella turcica, located in an area near the very back of your nose. The pituitary gland is made up of different types of cells, and each secretes a different type of hormone that affects how your body functions. The pituitary gland serves as a “master switch” of sorts, affecting the release of other hormones in the body related to things like growth, stress response and thyroid function, to name a few.
The effects of your pituitary tumor may depend on what types of cells it is made of. Pituitary tumors can be classified as secreting or non-secreting. A secreting pituitary tumor produces an excess hormone, which is made by the tumor cells. Non-secreting pituitary tumors do not produce hormones. Either type of tumor may cause symptoms simply by putting pressure on adjacent structures, and secreting tumors may have symptoms directly caused by excess hormones.
Pituitary Tumor Treatment in NJ
Your doctor will make treatment recommendations based on your individual condition, as well as your personal health factors. While he or she will be the best person to discuss your specific case, understanding the different treatment options can help you in your future conversations as you move towards your treatment date.
Watch and Wait
If your pituitary tumor is very small and not causing symptoms, your doctor may recommend monitoring your condition for the time being. Some tumors will remain small and never require treatment. However, because a pituitary tumor may grow in the future, it is important to attend all follow-up visits as scheduled. This will enable your doctor detects any changes as early as possible, should you require treatment in the future.
Medication can be particularly helpful to manage symptoms that result from some secreting pituitary tumors. Your doctor may recommend medication to ease symptoms before other treatment methods or to help you be more comfortable until your treatment date. There are also medications that can help shrink some pituitary tumors.
Many patients will require surgery to remove all or part of a pituitary tumor. Your doctor might recommend surgery if your tumor is very large and cannot be treated with other methods alone. However, if your pituitary tumor secretes cortisol or growth hormone, it will need to be surgically removed. Other secreting tumors may also require surgical removal, even if they are small.
There are two ways for the surgeon to access your pituitary tumor. The first is a transnasal approach, where the surgeon creates a small incision at the back of your nose. The second involves a craniotomy, the temporary removal of a small section of skull to provide the surgeon access to the tumor. Your surgeon will recommend a surgical approach based on the size and exact location of your pituitary tumor.
Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is an advanced form of radiation therapy available as pituitary tumor treatment in NJ. As a minimally invasive treatment, it can be an excellent alternative to surgery, but it can also be used after surgical removal to ensure all tumor cells have been eradicated. Gamma Knife radiosurgery takes place in an outpatient setting and does not require a hospital stay. There are no incisions, no scalpel and most patients are able to return to work and normal activities within a day or two.
Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses nearly 200 individual beams of low-dose radiation to treat your tumor. Because the treatment is so accurate, healthy surrounding tissues are not damaged, leading to fewer unpleasant side effects than other radiation therapies. Many patients will only require a single treatment session, though others may need up to five.
Your Personal Pituitary Tumor Treatment in NJ
Understanding the different pituitary tumor treatments in NJ can help you as you move forward in discussions with your personal doctor. He or she will work with you to understand why a particular treatment is most appropriate for your specific condition. Continue to educate yourself about your condition and treatment options as you move forward along your treatment path. Developing your understanding can help give you peace of mind during this process, and your doctor is there to help answer any remaining questions you have.