A pituitary adenoma is a tumour that develops from the tissue of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is found towards the base of the brain. It controls other glands within the body that in turn control many of the body's functions.
Pituitary adenomas don't fall under the category of brain and central nervous system tumours. Instead they are tumours of the endocrine system which is responsible for the secretion or release of various hormones into the bloodstream. Most pituitary adenomas are benign and are in fact quite common, with 1 in 5 people estimated to have one at some point in their life. In many cases the growth is harmless and is only diagnosed by chance during scans for other conditions. In some cases however, a pituitary adenoma can cause more serious symptoms.
Although technically not part of the brain, the pituitary is attached to the base of the brain and works with parts of the brain, such as the hypothalamus, affecting their functions.
A pituitary tumour, therefore, though not strictly a brain tumour, has many similar symptoms and side-effects. It may also grow upwards and press on the brain and its nerves.
For these reasons, all our information and support services are available to people with pituitary tumours.
Our FREE Brain Tumour Information Pack has been designed to help you through this difficult time, to guide you through the healthcare system, answer your questions, and reassure you that you're not alone so that you feel confident when discussing treatment and care options with your medical team.