my friend just had a pituitary tumor removed and was told some tumor may be left behind, Has anyone ever had this happen or know someone who did? I'm wondering if it grows back or not. I'm fearful for my friend because she went through a lot. Any comments or suggestions?
A pituitary tumor can recur after an incomplete resection. Hence, a strict monitoring and follow up MRI scans are essential to detect even a small change in size and volume of the remaining portion of the tumor. There is a 12 - 16 % chance of recurrence within the first 10 years after surgery.
Is a radiation therapy planned for the remaining part of the tumor?
I had a pituitary tumor (prolactinoma - prolactin producing) removed in 1995. It was believed that the tumor was completely removed (at least that's what I heard or wanted to hear). Having had the tumor once, I am now more attuned to the symptoms. There has been regrowth, but the tumor size is smaller than the original and not encroaching on the optic nerve as it once was. Because of this we are able to treat the tumor medically with bromocriptine, which decreased the excess hormone secretions and over time with shrink the tumor as well.
The important thing for your friend is to have regular monitoring and to make sure she knows and understands the results of all her testing. Ask for it in writing, so she can keep track of her progress. It is also very important that she is seeing pituitary specialists in neurology, endocrinology, and even opthamology.
I know it can be scary, but knowledge is power. A good source is the Pituitary Network Association.
Thank you very much for your response. My friend just had another MRI and there is no trace of any tumor. She had the neurologist read the MRI and the endocrinologist read it. She is seeing an opthamologist regularly and has recovered amazingly! I myself am a nurse and saw the MRI and it is truly a miracle. The tumor was so large she was losing her vision and now she sees perfectly!
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