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Pituitary Tumor Treatment

Did you know that pituitary tumors are 12 to 19 percent of all primary brain tumors?  Pituitary tumors affect your health and can cause vision loss by creating pressure on the optic nerves and permanent hormone deficiency. 

With the advanced technology in diagnosis and surgery and the skills of neurosurgeons, the success and survival rates of pituitary tumor surgeries have improved very significantly in the last decade.

Let’s understand from the experience of Mr. Samuel Kebede, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Samuel is a 42-year-old head of an international marketing agency. Samuel has two sons, one daughter, and a wonderful wife. Samuel’s hobby is creating paintings and outings with the family on the weekends. 

Three years back, Mr. Samuel Kebede started observing continuous headaches and weakness. Samuel’s vision was also deteriorating and his glasses number also increasing. Initially, Samuel ignored the symptoms assuming that it was due to work pressure. When Samuel started noticing the rapid vision loss, Samuel decided to consult a nearby doctor. 

Samuel went for the consultation and the doctor after physical examination suggested doing a blood test and MRI. The MRI reports detected a tumor of 1 cm in the pituitary gland. The doctor suggested to Samuel to consult a neurologist. Samuel and his wife Precious were in shock with the tumor news.

pituitary tumor treatment in India
best pituitary tumor treatment in India

Samuel’s elder son Eric started researching the best treatment at a reasonable cost for his father and his research came to a conclusion that India was the best fit for treatment. Eric visited the MedicoExperts website and left his inquiry on behalf of his father. 

MedicoExperts team got connected with Samuel and after receiving all the reports arranged the online video consultation with one of the senior neurosurgeons from its panel. During the consultation, the neurosurgeon clarified all the doubts of Samuels and explained in detail regarding the surgery. Samuel, after understanding all the details, decided to come to India for the treatment.

After 23 Days, Samuel along with his wife Precious came to India. Samuel was admitted to the hospital on the same day. Pre-evaluation tests were performed and found out that it was a benign adenomas pituitary tumor of size 1 cm. All the reports are in favor to conduct the surgery. 

The neurosurgeon did the craniotomy to remove the brain tumor. It was a successful surgery and the tumor was removed from the Pituitary gland.

Samuel and his wife were very happy with the outcome of the surgery and thanked the doctor and MedicoExperts team.

This can be your story as well to win the battle against pituitary tumors even if you have a complex pituitary tumor. What you need is the right guidance, right treatment at the right time from the right experts.

Before we move ahead with pituitary tumor symptoms, pituitary tumor treatment, and survival rates, let’s understand what pituitary tumor is.

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What is the pituitary gland?

The pituitary gland or the master gland is a pea-shaped endocrine -hormone-producing- gland that performs essential functions to sustain life. 

The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and has three distinct regions- the anterior lobe, the intermediate lobe, and the posterior lobe-. 

Despite its small size, the pituitary gland produces different hormones like:

  • prolactin, 
  • follicular stimulating hormone, 
  • adrenocorticotropic hormone,  
  • growth hormone, 
  • thyroid-stimulating hormone, 
  • oxytocin, and 
  • antidiuretic hormone. 
What is pituitary tumor
pituitary gland tumor

What is a pituitary gland tumor?

Pituitary tumors develop due to abnormal multiplication of pituitary cells that generally grow slowly and are non-cancerous. 

Sometimes, these slow-growing pituitary tumors can alter hormone production.

What are the different types of pituitary adenoma?

Non-cancerous pituitary tumors are called a pituitary adenoma. The adenomas can be a few millimeters to several centimeters.

Based on the size, the different types of pituitary adenomas are:

  • Microadenoma: Adenoma less than 1 cm is called microadenoma.
  • Macroadenoma: Adenomas larger than 1 cm is called macroadenoma.

Based on the functioning of the tumor, the pituitary adenomas are:

  • Pituitary tumors that over-secrete: Some pituitary tumors cause hypersecretion of the hormones causing high hormone levels in the blood.
  • A pituitary tumor that causes under secretion of hormones: Usually, macroadenoma or pituitary cancer can cause pituitary hormone deficiency.
different types of pituitary tumor

symptoms

What are the symptoms of pituitary tumors?

The common symptoms seen in people with advanced pituitary tumors are:

If the pituitary tumor grows in size, it begins to press the neighboring structures leading to:

  • Persistent headaches 
  • Loss of peripheral vision 
  • Eye paralysis 
  • Numbness or facial pain.
  • A constant feeling of being dizzy

If the pituitary tumor affects the hypothalamus; it can affect one’s thirst, appetite, temperature regulation, and consciousness.

However, if the pituitary tumor cells produce excess or little hormones, symptoms may develop. 

Also, if the tumor presses any nerves or neighboring structures a few symptoms may develop.

Excessive secretion of Hormones and related symptoms 

The symptoms vary depending upon the excess secretion of a specific hormone. Hormone-wise symptoms are listed below. 

Adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting (ACTH) tumors:

ACTH secreting tumors cause excessive secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone. When the excessive ACTH hormone in the blood stimulates your adrenal glands, triggering the production of cortisol. Excessive cortisol may cause Cushing syndrome. The common symptoms of Cushing syndrome are:

  • Accumulation of fat around the abdomen and upper back
  • The face becomes rounded like the moon.
  • The muscles of the arms and legs become weak and thin 
  • Increased blood pressure levels
  • Elevated blood sugar levels
  • Bruising
  • Outburst of acne
  • Bone becomes weak
  • The appearance of stretch marks around the thighs, abdomen, and back
  • Anxiety, irritability, sometimes depression

Growth hormone-secreting tumors:

When the pituitary tumor causes excessive production of the growth hormone, it can cause the following symptoms:

  • Indurated facial features
  • Abnormally big hands and legs
  • Profuse sweating
  • Excessive growth of body hairs
  • Elevated blood glucose levels
  • Heart ailments
  • Painful joints
  • Unaligned teeth

Children and adolescents having growth hormone-secreting tumors might grow too fast and may grow very tall.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone-secreting tumors:

Overproduction of the thyroid-stimulating hormone can trigger your thyroid gland to produce thyroxine hormone. The excessive production of thyroxine hormone can cause hyperthyroidism. A few common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:

  • Unexplained loss of weight 
  • Irritability 
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Diarrhea 
  • Excessive sweating

Prolactin-secreting tumors:

Oversecretion of prolactin can decrease estrogen levels in females and testosterone in males. 

The oversecretion of prolactin in women might cause:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Whitish discharge from the breasts
  • Absence of menstrual period 

Oversecretion of prolactin in men may cause:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Breast growth
  • Oligospermia or low sperm count

Antidiuretic-secreting tumors:

Antidiuretic-secreting tumors are rare and can cause diabetes insipidus.

Oxytocin-secreting tumor:

Oxytocin-secreting tumors are rare.

Pituitary tumors, which causes decreased production of the pituitary hormone, usually exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Unexplained change in weight
  • Constant feeling of weakness
  • Men may experience difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection
  • Absence of menstrual period
cause of developing pituitary tumor

What is the cause for developing pituitary tumors?

The exact cause for developing the pituitary gland tumor is unknown. However, many researchers believe that genetic abnormalities or alterations can cause pituitary tumors.  

Some hereditary disorders like multiple endocrine neoplasias increase the risk of developing pituitary tumors. 

Sometimes acquired gene mutations like AIP and GNAS1 gene mutations can induce the development of pituitary tumors.

Who is at risk of developing a pituitary tumor?

People with a family history of hereditary disorders like multiple endocrine neoplasias are at risk of developing pituitary tumors.

what is the risk of developing pituitary tumor

How are pituitary tumors diagnosed?

It is challenging to diagnose pituitary cancer because the symptoms of pituitary cancer usually resemble other health conditions. Pituitary tumors sometimes get accidentally detected during medical tests.

But if your healthcare provider suspects a pituitary tumor he or she may order:

To detect pituitary tumors, your doctor may recommend a panel of hormone tests. Hormone testing helps your doctor to detect hypersecretory tumors. 

For hyposecretory pituitary tumors, you might require to undergo tests to detect multiple hormones like:

  • thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), 
  • free T4, 
  • cortisol, 
  • follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), 
  • luteinizing hormone (LH) in women, and 
  • total testosterone (in men).

Diagnostic Imaging plays a crucial role in detecting pituitary tumors. Your doctor may suggest you have a computerized tomography (CT) scan. The CT scan helps your doctor determine the mass effect of the tumor. 

If your doctor finds that the CT scan reports are inadequate to confirm pituitary tumor, the doctor may suggest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

During the biopsy, your doctor will remove a tissue sample with a needle. Then the collected sample is then checked under the microscope for cancerous cells. A biopsy test helps to confirm cancer or any abnormality present in the cells.

choose best neurosurgeron for pituitary tumor treatment

How to choose the best neurosurgeon for your pituitary tumor treatment?

We can understand that choosing the right neurosurgeon for your pituitary tumor can be difficult.  

We suggest that while choosing a neurosurgeon for your pituitary tumor, look for someone who has good experience and has handled a good number of cases. Also, ensure that the success rate of his surgery is greater than 75%. 

Also, you must ensure that the neurosurgeon is well-trained and is aware of the latest surgical techniques, equipment, and protocols. 

How to choose the best hospital and best country for pituitary tumor treatment?

The availability of the world’s best neurosurgeon, advanced technology, and technically equipped hospitals has made India one of the most desirable destinations for pituitary tumor removal surgery. 

India provides exceptional healthcare services when it comes to various medical conditions, including neurosurgery. The cutting-edge technology used by doctors assures a great treatment option for international patients.

Although the UK and USA have advanced neurosurgery hospitals, the treatment in western countries may cost you a lot of money.  

However, the cost of treatments and surgeries in India is just about 40 – 50% of the cost, in the USA, the UK, and other developed nations. 

We are happy that a few of the best doctors and institutes in India work with us at MedicoExpert, to provide our international patients with world-class medical care at affordable prices.

How to choose best hospital for pituitary tumor treatment

treatment options

What is the best pituitary tumor treatment available in India?

The treatment for pituitary tumors requires the expertise of an endocrinologist, a neurosurgeon, and a radiation therapist. 

The doctors work together closely to develop an individualized patient-centric approach.

The treatment for pituitary tumor include:

Your doctor may suggest surgical removal of a pituitary tumor if the doctor feels that the pituitary tumor is causing complications. 

Usually, based on the location, type, and size of the pituitary tumor, your doctor can suggest the best surgery for you:

  • Endoscopic transnasal transsphenoidal surgery:  This surgical approach helps to remove small tumors. During this surgery, your doctor removes the tumor either through your nose or sinuses.
  • Transcranial approach (craniotomy): Usually, this surgery helps people having large or complicated pituitary tumors. During a craniotomy, your doctor reaches the tumor through the upper part of the skull.

Radiation therapy works well in cases where the tumor persists even after surgery. Radiation therapy also benefits people who are unable to undergo surgery. During the radiation therapy, your radiologist targets the tumor cells with high-energy radiation waves. The different radiation therapies include:

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery: During stereotactic radiosurgery, a single high-dose radiation beam is focused on the tumor. The radiation beam has a similar size and shape as the tumor. This type of radiation therapy decreases the risk of radiation coming in contact with healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
  • External beam radiation: During the external beam radiation therapy, radiation beams get delivered in small increments over time. External beam radiation therapy is an outpatient procedure.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): The IMRT technique uses a computer that helps your doctor shape the radiation beams to surround the tumor to ensure minimal radiation exposure to the surrounding tissues.
  • Proton beam therapy: Proton beam therapy uses positively charged ions (protons) which minimize the risk of damaging the surrounding healthy tissues.

Medical Therapy benefits people having hypersecreting pituitary tumors. With the help of medication, your doctor tries to reduce the excess secretion of the hormones. Sometimes medication helps to shrink certain pituitary tumors.

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pituitary tumor surgery cost in india

What is the cost of pituitary tumor surgery in India?

International patients can avail optimum pituitary tumor removal surgery at affordable costs in India. The advanced technology and affordable prices offered by India attract many foreign nationals. 

The cost of pituitary tumor removal surgery in India is roughly USD $5500 – $8000 (413594 – 601592 INR).

Endoscopic trans-nasal transsphenoidal approach: USD $6000 – $7500 (451194 – 563992 INR)

Transcranial approach (craniotomy): USD $7000 – $8000 (526393 – 601592 INR)

Whereas, radiation therapy costs approximately USD $800-$1500 per sitting (60159 – 112798 INR).

However, the cost for pituitary tumor treatment varies for every patient depending on their overall health, treatment method involved, medication, and location of cancer. 

What is the success rate of pituitary tumor treatment in India?

The pituitary tumor surgery success rate in India is about 95%. However, the success rate of pituitary tumor removal surgery in India primarily depends on the size and location of the tumor. 

The success rates of pituitary tumor removal surgery are slightly lower in the case of craniotomy compared to other surgical interventions.

what is the success rates of pituitary tumor treatment in India

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Frequently Asked Questions and patient concerns:

1. I am planning to travel to India for pituitary tumor treatment. What documents should I need to carry?

While you are traveling to India from another country for medical treatment, you need to carry the following documents:

  • Fit to fly certificates are required by the airlines you will be traveling for to ensure that you are healthy enough to take the flight.
  • Medical reports 
  • Visa application form
  • Passport 
  • Vaccine certificate
  • Doctor’s certificate
  • Medical invitation letter
  • Indian currency

Apart from the following documents, at the immigration, they will ask you for your accommodation address. Kindly share the address of the hotel/guesthouse you have booked to stay at.

2. Is pituitary adenoma cancerous?

Usually, pituitary adenomas are benign or non-cancerous tumors. The pituitary adenomas are non-cancerous overgrowth of pituitary gland cells that do not spread to other body parts.

3. Do all pituitary tumors cause symptoms?

There are many instances where people with pituitary tumors remain asymptomatic. The symptoms of pituitary tumors usually begin to show because of hypo or hypersecretion of the hormones produced by the pituitary gland. Sometimes the symptoms are caused due to the growth of the tumor which begins to exert pressure on neighboring nerves or other structures.

4. Is a pituitary tumor a brain tumor?

The pituitary gland is NOT in the brain, and the brain tissue varies from the pituitary tissue. Since the pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and is connected by a thin stalk to the brain, the definition of a pituitary tumor is often misunderstood, especially by insurance companies. A pituitary tumor is NOT a tumor of the brain.

5. Do pituitary tumors affect pregnancy?

Pituitary tumors sometimes cause pregnancy complications, depending on their form and size. Pregnancy may sometimes cause tumors to increase, making symptoms more imminent. The risk of diabetes and high blood pressure can be increased by some tumor forms.

Doctors typically prescribe that when they become pregnant, women avoid taking tumor medicines. However, it is possible to take such drugs during pregnancy if signs of pituitary tumors arise. The fetus does not seem to be affected by most drugs.

6. If a tumor was successfully removed why are regular visits, blood tests and MRI scans necessary?

The desired objective is complete removal of a tumor. A proportion of patients with a pituitary tumor, however, may have a tumor recurrence. Approximately 16 percent of non-functioning tumor patients will have a tumor recurrence within 10 years and 10 percent will need further care within 10 years (surgery, pituitary radiation). Because it is not possible to predict which tumor will recur, all patients require routine medical follow-up.

7. Will there be much pain or discomfort?

For several days after surgery, most patients experience mild to moderate pain. The amount of discomfort ranges from patient to patient, with some requiring a day or two of only moderate pain medication, while a minority of patients need several weeks of pain medication.

8. What restrictions will I have when I go home?

For several weeks after the procedure, you will need to take it easy. At the time of discharge, we will give you specific instructions, but in general, for at least 4 weeks after surgery, we ask most patients not to lift anything bulky and avoid any activity that can be exhausting.

9. When will I be able to return to work?

4 weeks after surgery, most patients are able to return to full-time jobs. Depending on your age, general physical state, and type of work you do this time span can differ.

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