What Are the Treatments for a Pituitary Tumor?


Quick Answer

The four standard treatments for pituitary cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, drug therapy and chemotherapy, according to the National Cancer Institute. These treatments may be used individually or in combination with others as part of a total treatment plan.

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What Are the Treatments for a Pituitary Tumor?
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Full Answer

Some pituitary tumors can be treated with surgery alone, according to the National Cancer Institute. Transsphenoidal, endoscopic and craniotomy surgeries are all used to access the tumor for removal. Many oncologists recommend chemotherapy or radiation treatments following surgery to kill off any remaining cancer cells. In some instances, radiation or chemotherapy may be used as the sole treatment for the tumor. Doctors may also suggest drug therapy, which involves the administration of drugs to stop the pituitary tumor from producing too many hormones.

The prognosis of pituitary cancer largely depends on whether the tumor spreads beyond the pituitary gland to other areas of the spinal cord and brain in addition to whether it moves beyond the central nervous system, notes the National Cancer Institute. Recommended treatment options are based on the size and type of the tumor, whether or not the tumor is making hormones, whether the patient is experiencing vision problems, and whether the tumor has been recently diagnosed or if the tumor is a recurrence following previous cancer treatment.

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