Pituitary tumors are abnormal growth of cells in the gland. Many doctors are involved in the treatment of pituitary gland tumors in Turkey to reach the optimal treatment for these tumors.
The pituitary gland is a small pea-sized endocrine gland that weighs less than 1 g. It attaches to the base of the brain and is placed in its own hole called the “Turkish saddle.” The gland secretes hormones that control most of the endocrine glands in the body and secrete them to hormones, so it is sometimes called the master or controlling gland.
A pituitary tumor arises, which is one of the brain tumors When some cells lose control over their growth and reproduction in the pituitary gland tissue, some pituitary tumors produce hormones and cause their concentration to rise and others to decrease their concentration in the blood.
Fortunately, the majority of pituitary tumors are benign (adenoma), meaning that the tumor remains in place and does not spread to other parts of the body, while malignant pituitary cancer is rare and is seen only in very few cases.
However, a pituitary tumor causes many problems, either because of its large size that puts pressure on the optic chiasm (nonfunctional tumors) or because it produces a large amount of hormones, which results in different symptoms for each hormone (functional tumors).
There are several methods or options for treating benign pituitary tumors in Turkey. The doctor may suggest monitoring the tumor only and treating the hormonal effects resulting from it with medications, or resorting to radiation to stop the growth of the tumor, or having to remove the pituitary tumor through surgery.
Types of pituitary tumors and their accompanying symptoms
Symptoms of pituitary tumors vary according to the type of hormones that they secrete and are classified into the following types:
- Nonfunctional pituitary adenomas: This type does not produce any hormone, so it is not detected until it reaches large sizes, and it is the most common. The size of the tumor may lead to headaches or vision problems or put pressure on the healthy pituitary gland cells and reduce their secretion of hormones.
- Prolactin-secreting pituitary tumors (prolactinomas): Prolactin (a milk hormone) produces milk in the breasts of a nursing mother. High levels of prolactin may cause irregular or stopped menstruation or milk production in non-breastfeeding women. In men, prolactin causes impotence, a decrease in sperm count, and the emergence of some female characteristics.
- ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas: This hormone stimulates the adrenal gland to secrete steroids that affect metabolism and suppress immunity. Elevated levels of ACTH lead to Cushing's disease, which is manifested by increased fat accumulation in the neck, face, back, abdomen, and chest, and high pressure.
- GH-secreting pituitary tumors: Growth hormone controls growth and consumption of sugar and fat. Excess growth hormone in children leads to gigantism, which is characterized by rapid growth, joint pain and increased sweating. In adults, the so-called acromegaly occurs, which is characterized by excessive growth in the skull, hands and feet, and diabetes may occur.
- TSH-secreting pituitary adenomas: This hormone stimulates the production of thyroid hormone with growth, temperature, and heart rate. High TSH leads to hyperthyroidism.
Pituitary Tumor Diagnosis in Turkey
The diagnosis of a pituitary gland tumor is often delayed or discovered by chance, either because it is small in size or because the resulting symptoms are similar to other cases and are mixed with it in the diagnosis.
The doctor listens to the patient’s complaint, asks some questions, and then conducts a clinical examination. When he suspects a pituitary tumor, he may order the following tests in order to diagnose a pituitary tumor:
- Urinary and blood tests: To know the hormonal levels in plasma and urine and to detect any hyperactivity or deficiency in the glands.
- Visual field test: To find out the effect of a pituitary tumor on vision.
- Brain imaging: CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to accurately determine the location and size of the pituitary tumor.
Pituitary Tumor Treatment in Turkey
Early detection and treatment of pituitary gland tumors in Turkey is beneficial in controlling tumor symptoms. Not all tumors may need treatment. Treatment of pituitary tumors usually depends on the type and size of the tumor, the extent of its growth towards the brain, and the patient's desire and general condition.
The treatment of a pituitary tumor is usually by surgery, radiotherapy or by medication, and the doctor may suggest sharing more than one method to obtain the best treatment for the pituitary tumor and to restore hormonal concentrations to their normal level.
Surgical treatment of pituitary gland tumor
Pituitary surgery is one of the most important and most used methods for treating pituitary tumors in Turkey. The surgery is performed by a neurosurgeon. Surgical treatment includes two surgical methods:
- Path through the sphenoid bone: 95% includes pituitary adenectomy surgeries. Entry is through the nose along the nasal septum until reaching the sphenoid sinus and then to the pituitary gland located behind it either by microsurgery or using endoscopy. This route does not affect the other parts of the brain and does not include an external scar, But it cannot remove large tumors, especially when the tumor grows towards adjacent brain tissue, and it has been proven Studies Foreign efficacy of this route as the first treatment for most cases of pituitary adenoma, learn more about Laparoscopic pituitary surgery.
- Transcranial route: By making an opening in the skull or the so-called “craniotomy” to reach the pituitary gland and then remove the tumor, this route is easier to reach for large and invasive tumors that cannot be removed through the sphenoid route safely.
Both methods are effective and safe in the treatment of pituitary adenoma if performed by an experienced surgeon, who will connect you Bimaristan Medical Center To the best neurosurgeons in Turkey if you are consideringTreatment in Turkey To remove a pituitary tumor.
Complications of pituitary tumor removal
The risks during or after pituitary gland surgery such as bleeding, infection and sensitivity to the anesthetic are rare but may occur. Post-pituitary symptoms include headache and congestion for a week or two after the operation and then disappear automatically.
Removing the pituitary tumor may lead to the removal of some healthy cells and a decrease in the concentration of hormones, especially in the case of large tumors. However, this can be treated with hormonal replacement therapy through drugs that contain the body’s deficient hormones.
Complications of pituitary gland surgery are rare but can be serious. Talk to your doctor about post-operative advice and clinic appointments, and contact him immediately if you face any problem.
Radiation therapy for pituitary tumor
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to destroy tumor cells and stop the tumor from growing and shrinking over time. It can be done after surgery or on its own if surgical treatment is not possible.
Radiation therapy is useful in eliminating all remnants of the tumor after its surgical removal and when the tumor has recurred after excision. It can be performed in the following ways:
- External beam conventional radiotherapy: It is the most common type of radiation therapy, which depends on directing small amounts of radiation distributed over several sessions, usually 5 sessions per week for 4-6 weeks. adjacent to it.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife therapy): Which directs the rays with a single high dose focused on the tumor with complete accuracy, causing less damage to the surrounding tissues. This technique is not surgery in the literal sense, that is, it does not require a surgical incision, and it is done in only one session.
- Proton beam therapy: The treatment is using positively charged ions (protons) instead of X-rays, after the protons empty their energy into the tumor, they stop emitting radiation unlike X-rays, and this treatment requires special equipment and is not widely used.
In any case, the application of radiology may carry some risks when used for a long time, the oncologist in Turkey will evaluate your case and discuss all the advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of radiotherapy, you can read more about Radiation oncology.
Treatment of a pituitary tumor with drugs
Medications are the primary treatment for most functional hormone-producing pituitary tumors. The drug stops the secretion of hormones or can even reduce the size of the tumor in some cases. Medications vary according to the type of tumor and the hormones it secretes:
- Tumors of Pituitary gland that secreted Prolactin: It is worth noting that 80% of prolactinoma patients had their prolactin levels returned to normal after using bromocriptine or cabergoline dopamine agonists, and the tumor in most of these patients shrank in varying proportions, which led to an improvement in symptoms of decreased vision, headache, return of menstruation and fertility in women, for small tumors, it is possible to use Drug therapy as a first line of treatment for several months before a surgical procedure is considered.
- GH-secreting pituitary adenomas: There are two types of medicines that can be used to correct high GH after surgery, the first is somatostatin agonists such as lanreotide or octreotide, which reduce GH secretion and may reduce the size of the tumor sometimes, and the second pegvisomant limits the effects of the hormone on the receptors.
- ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas: Ketoconazole is used to reduce the level of cortisol by reducing its secretion, but it is not useful in reducing the size of the tumor.
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Frequently asked questions about pituitary adenoma treatment in Turkey
What is a pituitary tumor?
A pituitary tumor is a group of cells that lose control and grow and multiply abnormally in the pituitary gland.
Is a pituitary tumor dangerous?
A pituitary tumor may lead to a potentially dangerous hormonal imbalance or invade nearby brain tissue, causing neurological damage of varying severity.
What is the treatment of pituitary tumor in Turkey?
Treatment for a pituitary tumor varies depending on its size and type. In many cases, pituitary surgery is the first line of treatment, followed by sessions of radiotherapy. Medications may also be necessary to complete the treatment.
Is the pituitary process dangerous?
The risks associated with a pituitary gland operation are generally rare and include bleeding and infection. Like any other surgery, the operation can lead to a decrease in the concentration of hormones that can be treated with medication.