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Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths that develop in the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain and about the size of a pea. The pituitary gland is part of the endocrine system, which makes and controls hormones regulating various functions in the body.
Pituitary tumors are usually benign (not cancerous) and very small. They do not typically spread to other areas of the body or cause symptoms. Benign pituitary tumors are also called adenomas. They develop most often in adults, but can occur at any age.
Doctors estimate that 1 in 4 people may have a pituitary tumor without ever knowing. That said, some tumors do require treatment.
If treatment is needed, it generally involves surgery, radiation therapy, and drug therapy. We often recommend a combination of these treatments, based on the specific details discovered during diagnosis. You and your doctor work together to identify the best option for you, based on factors including:
Size of the tumor
Location of the tumor
Whether the tumor produces a hormone
Type of hormone the tumor produces
What to Expect
As you and your family prepare for your care at Stanford, you’ll likely have many questions. We are here to help you in any way we can and to partner with you before, during and after treatment.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.