Pituitary Tumor


Your pituitary gland is found just under your brain. This pea-sized gland makes hormones that affect many of your body's functions. A pituitary tumor can cause it to release too much or too little of these hormones. This can cause serious problems.


We aren't sure why pituitary tumors form. A tumor starts with a mutation in a cell's DNA. These are the genetic blueprints that tell cells how to grow and function. The mutation makes the cell divide abnormally and uncontrollably. A pituitary tumor is a mass of these abnormal cells. Most pituitary tumors are not cancer.


A pituitary tumor can press against your brain. This can cause headaches and vision loss. Some tumors change your hormone levels. You may see things like more body hair or enlarged hands and feet. You may have emotional problems like anxiety or depression. You may have sexual problems like loss of sex drive or irregular periods. It can change your weight, your heart rate and your digestion. Many other problems in your body can be caused by changes in your hormones.


Treatment depends on your needs. If your tumor isn't causing problems, you may not need treatment. If it is, you may benefit from surgery, radiation therapy or medications. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for you.