UBNS specializes in treating brain tumors in both children and adults. As with all tumors, early diagnosis and treatment is of the utmost importance.
Brain tumors compress and invade crucial brain structures as they grow, giving rise to progressive neurological disturbances. Early signs of a brain tumor should be suspected whenever a patient presents with slowly evolving neurological signs and symptoms, particularly those itemized below:
Sometimes, tumors may not become noticeable until after they bleed or when they reach a large size, often depending on their rate of growth.
Tumors that arise in the pituitary gland are very commonly benign in character. Nevertheless, they may cause serious neurological symptoms by compressing nerves that are critical for vision. In addition, invasion of local structures around the pituitary gland can make complete removal difficult or impossible.
Pituitary tumors can also affect the patient’s general physical well-being by altering the balance of hormones in the body. This can occur as a result of excessive production of certain hormones by the tumor itself or by compression of the normal gland by the tumor with resulting underproduction of pituitary hormones. This, in turn, can lead to overproduction or deficiencies in the production of hormones by the thyroid and adrenal glands, and by the ovaries and testes.
Some symptoms of a pituitary tumor include:
Pituitary tumors are best diagnosed using a MRI scan and specific blood tests of pituitary hormone levels.
Although medication can be used to treat certain pituitary tumors, surgery is frequently required. The typical pituitary tumor is removed by way of a “transsphenoidal” operation. In this minimally invasive procedure, surgery is performed through one nostril using a microscope and without the need for any externally visible incisions. Certain other pituitary tumors may be treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery or with conventional radiation therapy.
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