• Consumer Health: Treating pituitary tumors

The pituitary is a small, bean-shaped gland at the base of your brain, behind your nose and between your ears. Despite its small size, the pituitary gland influences nearly every part of your body. The hormones it produces help regulate important functions, such as growth, blood pressure and reproduction.

Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths that develop in your pituitary gland. Some pituitary tumors cause an overproduction of hormones. Others can cause your pituitary gland to produce reduced levels of hormones.

Most pituitary tumors are adenomas, which are noncancerous, remain in your pituitary gland or surrounding tissues, and don't spread to other parts of your body.

Many pituitary tumors don't require treatment. For some, the recommendation may be observation or a wait-and-see approach. For those tumors that do require treatment, that may include surgery, radiation therapy and medications ― alone or in combination ― to treat the tumor and return hormone production to normal levels. Your health care provider's recommendations will depend on several factors, including the type and size of the tumor, how far it has grown into your brain, and your age and overall health.

Here's what you need to know about treating pituitary tumors.

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