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What Is Pituitary Cancer?

Fighting cancer begins with being armed with essential information about the disease.

Pituitary tumors begin in the pituitary gland, an organ in the human body attached to the base of the brain by a thin stalk. Often called the “master gland,” it controls several other hormone glands in the body, including the thyroid, adrenals, testicles in men, and ovaries in women.

Pituitary gland tumors form when cells in the body divide and grow at an excessive rate. Almost all of the 10,000 tumors diagnosed in the U.S. each year are pituitary adenomas (benign or noncancerous). However, they present many dangers, including the overproduction or underproduction of hormones. Pituitary adenomas may grow large enough to press against sensitive areas around the pituitary, such as the optic nerves that help people see.

Pituitary Cancers We Treat at New Hope Unlimited

There are two central types of pituitary tumors:

Functioning Tumors

These pituitary tumors cause the body to produce too much of certain hormones, including:

  • Prolactin: Prolactinoma occurs when a pituitary tumor makes too much prolactin, which stimulates breast growth and milk production in women.
  • Growth hormone (GH): GH plays a role in the body's metabolism. Tumors that generate too much GH cause gradual enlargement of body parts (acromegaly) in adults.
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): Tumors that produce too much of this hormone cause the thyroid to release large quantities of thyroxine, causing hyperthyroidism.
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): This hormone controls the adrenal glands' ability to make cortisol, which the body releases when stressed. ACTH also helps regulate heart function and blood pressure, among others. Cushing's syndrome may occur when the body produces too much cortisol.

Non-functioning Tumors

These pituitary tumors do not create hormones that induce symptoms, but they can cause serious problems if they grow large and press against other regions. Non-functioning pituitary tumors can interfere with the pituitary gland's normal production of hormones. In rare cases, the cells in a pituitary tumor can become malignant (cancerous) and metastasize (spread) to other areas of the body. Some pituitary cancers produce hormones, usually prolactin and ACTH.

Pituitary Tumor Symptoms in Men and Women

Signs and symptoms of pressure from a malignant or benign pituitary tumor often include headaches and vision loss. However, signs of pituitary tumors vary depending on the different types of functioning or non-functioning tumors in the pituitary gland.

  1. 1. Large TumorsTumorous growths, whether benign or malignant, can cause hormonal deficiencies that manifest in:
    • Weakness
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Chills or always feeling cold
    • Unintended weight loss or gain
    • Irregular menstruation in women
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Frequent urination
  2. 2. ProlactinOverproduction of prolactin causes different symptoms in men and women.In women, prolactinoma might cause:
    • Irregular menstrual periods
    • Milky discharge from the nipples
    • Infertility
    In men, a prolactin-producing tumor may cause hypogonadism. Possible symptoms are:
    • Decreased sperm count
    • Infertility
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Loss of body hair
    • Lowered sex drive
    • Abnormal breast growth (gynecomastia)
  3. 3. Growth hormone (GH)These tumors make excess growth hormone (acromegaly), which may cause:
    • Coarse facial features, such as bulging head and enlarged nose or lips
    • Enlarged hands and feet
    • Excessive sweating
    • High blood sugar
    • Heart problems
    • Joint pain
    • Increased body hair
    • Misaligned teeth
  4. 4. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)Excess TSH may cause hyperthyroidism and accelerate the body's metabolism, causing:
    • Weight loss
    • Nervousness and excess sweating
    • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
    • Frequent bowel movements
  5. 5. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)Overproduction of ACTH leads to Cushing's disease. Symptoms and signs of Cushing's disease may include:
    • Exaggerated facial roundness
    • Weight gain, particularly in the midsection and upper back
    • Reduction of fat in the arms and legs
    • Thinning of the skin
    • High blood pressure
    • High blood sugar or diabetes
    • Skin breakouts, such as acne
    • Weakened bones and muscles
    • Purple-red stretch marks
    • Quick bruising
    • Anxiety, irritability, or depression

Pituitary Tumor Causes

The exact cause of uncontrolled cell growth in the pituitary gland remains unknown to medical researchers. A small percentage of pituitary tumor cases run in families, but most have no apparent hereditary factor. Still, scientists suspect that genetics play a significant role in how pituitary tumors occur.

People with a family history of specific hereditary conditions, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN I), have an increased risk of developing tumors in the pituitary gland. In MEN I, multiple tumors grow in various glands of the endocrine system. Genetic testing is available for this dysfunction.

Pituitary Tumor Diagnosis

Specialized testing that necessitates frequent sampling of the blood, urine, and saliva may be used to determine if you have a pituitary tumor and how large it is. Your physician may also use medical imaging techniques, such as computed axial tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, to produce quality images of the gland and tumor.

Comprehensive Pituitary Tumor Treatments

At New Hope Unlimited, everyone — from our administrative, support, and medical team — understands that quality of life is a significant concern for patients with tumorous growths. Therefore, we offer the most advanced pituitary cancer treatments with the least impact on the body. Click here to learn about our protocols, which are based on years of substantiated medical and scientific research by cancer treatment pioneers.

Our Approach

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Our Top-of-the-Line Medical Facilities

At New Hope Unlimited, we pride ourselves in providing superior comfort, cleanliness, and cancer care at our 8,000 square foot medical treatment center in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. We worked with renowned architects and contractors to create the ideal space for recovery, which includes state-of-the-art lounge areas and spacious private in-rooms that assure the comfort of our patients and their loved ones.

To make our patients feel right at home, each private ward is equipped with high-definition U.S. television, quality bedding, and high-speed internet connection. And with proper nutrition playing a vital role in cancer recovery, New Hope Unlimited also fulfills the dietary needs of each patient using fresh, organic produce to prepare breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners.

Comfort and cleanliness are also strictly implemented in our medical treatment rooms, which are equipped with the latest medical supplies and technology to provide the highest standard of care and treatment. Our medical center also has an in-house Hyperbaric Chamber, a well-established therapy for decompression sickness, exclusively available for our patients’ use.

Further, New Hope Unlimited has maintained its exceptional partnership with Hospital Migoo, a medical group comprised of certified physicians and specialists committed to our patients’ care and well-being.

Stories of New Hope

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FAQs

1. What specific treatments does New Hope offer?

From detoxification to nutrient supplementation, learn about our one-of-a-kind combination of conventional, alternative, and holistic treatments for tumors in the pituitary gland.

2. How effective are alternative treatments for pituitary cancer?

Cancer is a long, grueling battle for thousands of patients. When a battle is this important, you want a reliable weapon at your disposal. Our combination of conventional and holistic protocols helps arm your body with the best defense possible. From helping you reduce cancer symptoms to rehabilitating your immune system, New Hope can help make strategic recommendations to increase the effectiveness of your treatment and speed your recovery.

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