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What are the symptoms of pituitary gland cancer?

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Quick Answer

Specific symptoms of a pituitary tumor are dependent upon the type of tumor involved, but most pituitary tumors produce the common symptom of vision loss along with other physical changes, often accompanied by headaches, dizziness, nausea and confusion, according to WebMD. Seizures and cerebrospinal fluid in the nose are possible.

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Full Answer

There are two types of pituitary tumor: the nonfunctioning type that does not make hormones and the functioning type that produces excessive amounts of one or more hormones, explains WebMD. When the presence of a nonfunctioning tumor prevents the pituitary gland from producing gland or organ-specific hormones, symptoms reflect that in clearly defined ways, such as the loss of body hair, the cessation of menstrual periods, no lactation, low libido, and impotence and growth of breasts in men.

A functioning pituitary tumor that generates too much prolactin often interferes with a woman’s ability to conceive, or it causes lactation in a woman who is not pregnant or breast-feeding, reports WebMD. Easy bruising, anxiety, depression, weight gain in the upper body or discolored stretch marks on the upper body may be signs of excessive amounts of the adrenocorticotropic hormone caused by a tumor. Excess growth hormone can cause the bones of the face, hands and feet to grow in adults, and children may attain sizes and weights greater than average. Excessive sweating and joint pain are additional signs of adrenocorticotropic over-production. Irregular heartbeat and weight loss often indicate that too much of the thyroid-regulating hormone is being produced.

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