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What is a pituitary gland tumor?

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Quick Answer

A pituitary gland tumor refers to an abnormal growth in the pituitary gland, according to Mayo Clinic. Most pituitary gland tumors are noncancerous, and they typically don't spread to other parts of the body.

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What is a pituitary gland tumor?
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Full Answer

The pituitary gland is a bean-shaped gland sandwiched between the ears and located at the bottom of the brain behind the nose, explains Mayo Clinic. This gland produces hormones that regulate crucial body processes such as growth and reproduction. A tumor in the pituitary gland can either cause overproduction or underproduction of these hormones.

The cause of pituitary gland tumors is unknown, according to Mayo Clinic, but a person with a hereditary condition such as multiple endocrine neoplasia is susceptible to a pituitary gland tumor. An individual with this type of tumor may experience headaches, loss of vision, weakness, reduced or no menstrual cycles, and increased urination. Other symptoms of pituitary gland tumors may include nausea and vomiting, loss of body hair, and sexual dysfunction. A pituitary gland tumor can also lead to complications such as diabetes insipidus and permanent hormone deficiency. A person who develops pituitary gland tumor signs and symptoms should seek medical care to eliminate the symptoms and restore the normal functioning of the pituitary gland.

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