Pituitary Tumors Program

Pituitary Tumors Program

The Pituitary Tumors Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides specialized care and support for people diagnosed with Pituitary Tumors.

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The Pituitary Tumors Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides specialized care and support for people diagnosed with Pituitary Tumors. Our team of highly skilled specialists take a comprehensive, interdisciplinary team approach, with experts from the Neurology, Otolaryngology (ENT), Ophthalmology and Endocrinology Institutes, and the Oncology Institute, working in close collaboration. We offer a full range of advanced treatment options for adults with pituitary tumors, including innovative surgery, chemotherapy, targeted radiosurgery, and other advanced approaches to tumor treatment.

Pituitary Tumors Program
  • Why Choose Us?
  • What We Treat
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis & Treatment
  • Prevention & Screening
  • Program Caregivers

Why Choose Us?

We offer every patient a dedicated team of medical experts to support them, and their family, throughout their cancer journey. Our integrated approach includes a vast team of endocrinologists, neuro-radiologists, interventional neuro-radiologists, neuro-rehabilitation specialists, orbital ophthalmologists, researchers, clinical care coordinators and nurses, all working together to offer the best personalized science and technology, one patient at a time. The multidisciplinary meet daily to discuss each patient’s needs, their progress and to decide the best treatment plan.  


What We Treat

A pituitary tumor or adenoma is a growth on the pituitary gland. Most pituitary tumors are benign (not cancer) and grow slowly. This means they do not spread to other parts of the body.  

If they do grow, they can put pressure on nearby structures. For example, they can apply pressure to the nerves that connect the eyes to the brain, causing symptoms. This is called the “mass effect”.  

Tumors can also put pressure on other pituitary cells and stop them working properly. This leads to something called hypopituitarism, which causes tiredness, low blood pressure, and changes in your sex drive and function. 

Pituitary tumors are labeled according to their size. Those under 1 cm are called microadenomas and those over 1 cm are called macroadenomas.  

Some tumors can cause symptoms by releasing extra hormones into the blood, and some (around one third) do not and are called non-functioning or null cell adenomas. 


Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors

Symptoms of Pituitary Tumors 

The symptoms of pituitary tumors vary depending on its mass effect and whether hormones are released. General symptoms include: 

  • Headaches 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Fatigue  
  • Nasal drainage 
  • Vision problems (double vision, vision loss) 
  • Changes in the sense of smell 
  • Changes in behavior 
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • Infertility 
  • Weight gain or loss 
  • Achy joints or muscle weakness 
  • Changes in menstrual period  
  • Early menopause 

Increased hormone levels can cause certain syndromes and disorders, including: 

  • Acromegaly: Too much growth hormone (GH) 
  • Cushing’s disease: Too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) 
  • Hyperthyroidism: Too much thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) 

Causes & Risk Factors for Pituitary Tumors 

Doctors don’t know what causes pituitary tumors, but they do know that changes in your DNA can cause cells to produce a tumor.  

There are very few known factors that may increase your risk of developing a pituitary tumor. There aren’t any lifestyle or environmental-related risks known for pituitary tumors, although obesity may increase risk slightly.  

Sometimes, pituitary tumors can run in families meaning there is a genetic risk. A genetic mutation within your genes can be inherited from your parents. Genetic testing can be done to identify this risk. 


Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis of Pituitary Tumors  

If a pituitary tumor is suspected by your doctor, they will review all your symptoms and medical history and perform a thorough physical exam. Blood tests may be done to check hormone levels. 

Imaging tests, like MRI (using a large magnet and radio waves to obtain clear images of the body) or CT (which uses computers to combine lots of X-ray images) can show any form of growth on the pituitary and can used to diagnose pituitary tumors. adenoma. An eye test may be performed if you are experiencing sight problems.  

Treatment of Pituitary Tumors  

Surgery, medication, radiation or any combination of these treatments are usually offered to people with pituitary tumors.  

  • Surgery: Some tumors can be removed with endoscopic surgery. Very small tools and a camera are inserted through the nose and sinuses to reach the pituitary gland, in an approach called the transsphenoidal technique. If this isn’t possible, the tumor is reached by opening the skull. This surgery is performed by two surgeons, one is a skull base neurosurgeon, the other surgeon is an ENT surgeon, specialized in frontal sinus surgery.  

  • Medication: Sometimes, the tumor can be shrunk by medication which also relieves symptoms. Treatment will be initiated by an endocrinologist, specialized in pituitary diseases  

  • Radiation: High-energy X-rays are used to shrink the tumor and kill cancer cells. Stereotactic radiosurgery is sometimes offered which is aimed precisely, from multiple directions, at the tumor to stop it from growing. 

If the tumor is small, not growing, or causing any symptoms, doctors sometimes watch it closely. 


Prevention & Screening

Making lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and taking regular exercise, may lower the risk of many cancers. 

Pituitary tumors have not been linked to any specific known risk factors, meaning at present, there is no known way to prevent them.

For people at higher risk due to pituitary tumors running in their family (a genetic mutation within your genes can be inherited from your parents), genetic testing can be done to identify this risk. 


Program Caregivers

Our Pituitary Tumors Program doctors have extensive expertise in the field of pituitary adenomas, and provide excellent, Patients First medical care based on current US and international guidelines. Caregivers involved in patient care for this program includes: 

  • Endocrinologist 
  • Skull base surgeons 
  • Neurosurgeons 
  • Medical oncologists 
  • Radiation oncologists 
  • Neuropathologists 
  • Neuro-radiologists 
  • Interventional neuro-radiologist 
  • ENT Surgeons 
  • Neuro-ophthalmologist  
  • Neuro rehabilitation specialists 
  • Pain physicians  
  • Physical therapists  
  • Dieticians 

Pituitary Tumors Program Doctors

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