Definition and causes
Pituitary is a small gland the size of a pea, which is hanging to the underside of the brain in hypofysestilken and is divided into a forlap and a baglap. Tumors (tumors) in the pituitary occurs most often in the pituitary forlap and is most benign (which means thatnotis a cancer). They grow slowly and can affect hormone secretion from the pituitary in different ways. There can be seen overproduction of one or more of the hormones, which detaches itself pituitary or controls the secretion of (see pituitary). The tumor can also press the pituitary gland, so that hormone secretion is stopped or reduced.
We usually do not know why a hypofysetumor occurs.
Symptoms of hypofysetumorer
The symptoms of a slowly growing hypofysetumor is typically gradual onset and is often related to hypofysetumorens pressure on the optic nerve. This can cause headaches and visual disturbances, often in the form of reading difficulties and flicker of eyes. Later may be developed tunnelsyn (by looking through the tube from a roll of paper towels). The muscles that controls eye movements, may also be affected by reduced field of vision to follow.
Symptoms of disruption of hormonal balance depends on the hormones that are affected.
- Half of all hypofysetumorer excrete hormoneprolactinin large quantities, giving the characteristic symptoms. In women seen irregular or non-menstrual and infertility in men impotence and breast enlargement. In both sexes seen also reduced sexlyst and secretion (siven) from the nipples were.
- Some hypofysetumorer excrete growth hormone, giving symptoms of acromegaly.
- Other tumors excrete hormones, which over stimulates binyrebarken, giving symptoms of Cushing's syndrome.
- A growing tumor can also press the pituitary gland, so that the secretion of one or more hormones reduced. This gives symptoms of hypopituitarism.
- A tumor, which hit the pituitary baglap, can lead to reduced secretion of so-called antidiuretic hormone, resulting in symptoms of diabetes insipidus.
Precautions and diagnosis
If your doctor suspects a hypofysetumor, can take blood samples to measure levels of pituitary hormones in the blood. Some types of medication can give falsely elevated levels of certain hormones, so it's important to tell your doctor if you regularly take medication.
An MRI scan of the skull can be made in order to locate any. tumor. Eye Studies done to see whether there is the influence of optic nerve.
Treatment of hypofysetumorer
A hypofysetumor, allowing overproduction of the hormone prolactin (called aprolaktinom), Can be treated with medication that blocks the effects of the hormone. This treatment is in most cases very effective, and we can live a normal life without major symptoms. In each case there is a need for an operation.
If hypofysetumoren offers reduced secretion of hormones, can also be treated with synthetic hormone preparations (see details under treatment for hypopituitarism).
If the tumor causes overproduction of some of the other hormones, or if it provides pressure symptoms such. vision changes, the most often removed surgically. This is done in most cases know that we create access through the nose and operates using a microscope. This gives a good overview of the situation, and the tumor removed via the same route.
Radiation therapy is used in increasingly smaller scale because of improved medical and surgical treatment techniques.
Select and complications
The risk of complications, which meninges inflammation (meningitis), bleeding or effects on surrounding structures, is small by the type of operation as described above. If the tumor has a size which do not allow this type of operation, an operation which provides access through the skull. Here, however, there is greater risk of complications.
In the long term prognosis depends on the size of hypofysetumoren, but with medical or surgical treatment, it is possible to achieve complete healing.