What is the Pituitary Adenoma of the Brain?
A pituitary adenoma of the brain is a non-malignant (non-cancerous) abnormal growth of the pituitary gland that causes the excessive or insufficient secretion of pituitary hormones. The pituitary gland is a small gland that is present in the brain and helps regulate many important bodily functions using pituitary hormones.
A pituitary adenoma is a rare tumour that accounts for approximately 15% of brain tumours. In 90% of cases, they grow slowly and are benign. In most cases, these adenomas are small and do not cause symptoms, in very few cases they increase in size and cause symptoms related to the hormonal and nervous system.
Disease Etiology (Cause)
There is no exact well-known cause; however certain hereditary and genetic factors are responsible for the development of pituitary adenoma.
Signs and Symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of pituitary adenomas are;
- Loss of vision
- Diplopia (double vision)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Behavioural changes
- Mood swings like depression and anxiety
- Loss of ability to smell
- Sexual dysfunction, changes in sexual drive
- Muscles or joint pain
- Unexplained or unintended weight gain or loss
- Immature menopause( early cessation of menstruation before 45 or 50 years of age)
- Irregular monthly menstrual period
Adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) hormone-producing, Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) producing, Prolactin producing, growth hormone-producing are main pituitary adenomas. These are pituitary adenomas that develop from ACTH producing cells, TSH-producing and secreting cells, Prolactin producing cells, and growth hormone-producing cells respectively. There over or under secretion can cause growth problems, obesity or weight loss, loss of fertility, and thyroid issues.
The following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Imaging techniques like X-ray, USG (ultrasonography), MRI, CT-Scan, and PET –scan to detect the size and extent of the tumour.
Surgical removal of the tumour, chemotherapy, and hormonal replacement therapy are main treatment options.
What Support can we Give for Pituitary Adenoma?
Pituitary Adenoma is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Pituitary Adenoma, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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