Pituitary gland tumors are the growth of abnormal cells in the tissues of the pituitary gland, a small gland found inside the skull right below the brain and above the nasal passages.
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Detection tests and exams available for the detection and diagnosis of pituitary tumors may include:
- Physical exam and medical history.
- Eye exam.
- Neurological exam.
- Blood chemistry study.
- Blood tests.
- Venous sampling, a procedure in which a blood sample from a vein close to the pituitary gland is checked for high levels of specific substances released by nearby organs and tissues that could signal the presence of cancer.
Treatment options for pituitary tumors may include:
- Transsphenoidal surgery, in which surgeons remove the pituitary gland through an incision in the upper lip or lower portion of nose between the nostrils.
- Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery, in which surgeons use an endoscope for viewing while performing a transsphenoidal procedure.
- Craniotomy, in which surgeons remove the pituitary gland through an opening in the skull.
Chemotherapy can be used as palliative treatment for cancerous pituitary tumors that have spread to other parts of the body.
External beam radiation therapy can be used as palliative treatment for cancerous pituitary glands that have spread to other parts of the body.
Drug therapy can be prescribed to stop a pituitary tumor from producing an abnormal amount of hormones.
To enhance the care of people dealing with pituitary gland tumors, Scripps Health also offers patient support services.