Your care team will recommend treatments based on the size, location, and characteristics of your tumor, as well as other factors such as your overall health.
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to stop your pituitary tumor from producing excess hormones and shrink the tumor. In many cases, this is the only treatment needed. If your tumor requires surgery or radiation treatment, you may need to take medications before those treatments to keep your hormones in balance. After treatment, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat any hormone deficiency that may arise as a result of the tumor or the treatment.
The goal of surgery is to remove the entire tumor safely while also preserving the function of the pituitary gland and nearby structures, such as the optic nerves. If your pituitary tumor is relatively small and easy to reach, your surgeon may perform the surgery by placing a small tube called an endoscope through your nose to reach and remove it. For larger tumors, our surgeons offer keyhole craniotomies, in which the tumor is removed through openings in the skull about the size of a nickel. In rare cases, a pituitary tumor may require more extensive surgery.
If your pituitary tumor extends to an area where surgery could pose risks to nearby structures, our experts may radiation therapy (high energy x-ray treatment). This may be given as a once-daily treatment for about five weeks or as stereotactic radiosurgery. The treatment recommendation will be determined by your radiation oncologist, who considers multiple factors such as the size of the tumor and its exact location within the brain.
After your tumor has been effectively treated -- through medication, surgery, or radiation -- your care team will continue to monitor your condition through regular MRI scans and hormone tests. Pituitary tumors can sometimes return, although it is rare. If your tumor caused vision problems, your eye specialist will continue to monitor your vision.