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Re: Pituitary Tumor

Posted By CCF Neurology SB on October 01, 1998 at 20:44:57:

In Reply to: Pituitary Tumor posted by P.R. on October 01, 1998 at 16:05:21:

Hello.  I am in a state of fear right now.  After having an Mri done for other purposes, my doctors office has advised me that I have a pituitary tumor.  I have had previous MRIS which have never shown this.  The nurse said they would need to do bloodwork to see if the tumor was causing any disturbances (???), but I would need a referral to neurosurgeon from there.  I am not having any symptoms from this, and only knew about it because of the MRI.  The words "tumor" and "surgeon" scare me, especially when used together.  I am quite  concerned about whether this is a life threatening condition, or whether or not this is going to significantly cause serious problems for me.  Can you give me an idea of what to expect?  Thanks for helping.  I can take any news, just so i know what to expect up front.


Dear PR,
Pituitary tumors are common lesions. Most are adenomas (this is a type of tumor). Based on the size, the adenomas are classified as microadenomas
(diameter 10mm/0.4 inches or less) or macroadenomas (diameter greater than 0.4 in). Microadenomas are about 400x more common than macroadenomas. Small incidental pituitary adenomas are identified at autopsy or during MRI scan for other reasons. One study even quoted that 15% of normal volunteers undergoing MRI with contrast have abnormalities in the pituitary gland consistant with microadenoma or benign pituitary cysts. The key is that the doctor needs to check blood test for some hormones. The blood test measures level of hormones secreted by pituitary gland in the blood (it may be elevated).
Pituitary gland is the master gland, so it secretes a lot of different hormones, e.g. growth hormone, prolactin, etc.
Prolactinoma (adenoma that secretes prolactin) is the most common type of  pituitary tumor (around 27%) and the symptoms are cessation of menstruation, and production of milk (even though the woman is not post partum) in woman, and decreased libido in men. These tumor size can shrink with some medication treatment.
So, please do not panic, I know it sounds scary, but the fact that you have absolutely no symptoms is a good sign. Don't even think about surgery at this time, we don't know what we are dealing with, and secondly we are not sure if this tumor is causing any problem.
Please let us know what the blood test shows. Good luck.


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