Some treatments for a prolactin-secreting adenoma include the drugs cabergoline and bromocriptine, both of which hinder the prolactin in the pituitary tumors, says the American Cancer Society. While both medicines are highly effective, cabergoline works longer, with patients likely having fewer side effects. If a patient does not respond favorably to medications after six months, doctors may consider surgery or radiation.
The majority of patients with a prolactin-secreting adenoma, or prolactinoma, are able to regulate the hormone-producing tumors through drugs, notes the American Cancer Society. These medications usually reduce the size of a large tumor, or macroadenoma, which, according to John Hopkins Medicine, measures 10 millimeters or more. A magnetic resonance imaging scan of the pituitary gland accompanies drug treatment of a prolactinoma to test the medicine's effectiveness. Treatment may be lifelong, and sometimes the tumors disappear. Ongoing MRIs can determine whether or not the tumors recur.
In certain cases, doctors resort to surgery in the treatment of a prolactin-secreting adenoma, says the American Cancer Society. People with macroadnomas might have surgery after their tumors have shrunk through drug treatments. Men with advanced-stage prolactinomas may also require surgery. Women who wish to bear children may need surgical removal of the tumors, as pregnancy can accelerate tumor growth and women must stop taking the medications while pregnant.