How Dangerous Is a Tumor on the Pituitary Gland and Pineal Gland of the Brain?


Quick Answer

The dangers of pineal and pituitary tumors include blurred vision, headaches, weight gain and anxiety, reports the Mayo Clinic. There are many similar symptoms between the two types of tumors, but pineal and pituitary tumors are different.

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Full Answer

Both the pineal and pituitary glands are in the brain. The pineal gland is located in the center of the brain and is responsible for excreting certain hormones. The American Brain Tumor Association notes that there are three types of pineal tumors:

  • Pineocytoma: slow-growing
  • Pineoblastoma: malignant tumor
  • Mixed pineal: includes a combination of cell types

Symptoms of a pineal tumor include headache, double vision, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms are often caused by a blockage of cerebrospinal fluid and by problems with eye movement pathways.

The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and connects to the hypothalamus. Together, these organs help regulate growth and other hormones. Pituitary tumors are either functioning or non-functioning. Functioning tumors produce too many hormones, while non-functioning tumors do not produce any hormones. There are three categories of pituitary tumors:

  • Benign: non-cancerous tumors that do not spread
  • Invasive: non-cancerous tumors that spread to skull or sinus cavity
  • Carcinomas: malignant

Symptoms of pituitary tumors vary and depend on whether the tumor is functioning or non-functioning. Additionally, the type of hormone affected by a functioning tumor influences the type of symptoms. Non-functioning tumor symptoms include headache, body hair loss and some vision loss. Functioning tumor symptoms lowered sex drive, bruising, acromegaly, snoring, trouble sleeping and dizziness.

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