Pituitary Tumor: Signs, Symptoms and Causes

Pituitary tumor symptoms include headaches, vision changes, and hormonal imbalances. Pituitary tumor causes may involve genetic mutations. These tumors can affect hormone production, leading to several symptoms and affecting several body functions. The reasons for symptom presentation are different for functional and non-functional tumors.

Pituitary Tumor Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of a pituitary tumor depend on its characteristics. The tumor may be functional or non-functional. Functional tumors cause pituitary tumor symptoms by releasing excessive hormones, and non-functional tumors cause pituitary tumor symptoms through pressure on other tissues.

Symptoms from Tumor Pressure

The following are the commonly observed pituitary tumor signs associated with the tumor pressure:

Symptoms from Hormone Changes

Functional pituitary tumors increase the level of specific hormones, leading to various symptoms. Some of the common pituitary gland cancer symptoms include:

Pituitary Tumors That Make Adrenocorticotropic Hormone

Pituitary Tumors that Make Growth Hormone

Pituitary Tumors that Make Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone

Pituitary tumor symptoms in women may include:

Pituitary tumor symptoms in men may include:

Pituitary Tumors that Make Prolactin

Following the prolactin tumor symptoms:

Pituitary tumor symptoms in women:

Pituitary tumor symptoms in men may include:

Pituitary Tumors That Make Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone

What Causes Pituitary Tumor?

There are no exact pituitary tumor causes. Genes are present in the DNA. These genes control the functioning of cells, including their growth, multiplication, and death. If there is any deletion or alteration in the genetic information, the cell grows and divides uncontrollably. Oncogenes are the mutated form of genes responsible for cell division, while tumor suppressor genes control division. When the tumor suppressor gene is turned off, patients may develop cancer. Further, there are DNA repair genes that repair mistakes. Mutations in these genes may also be a pituitary tumor cause.

When to see an Oncologist?

Patients should not ignore any of the symptoms of concern. They should book an appointment with an oncologist if they experience headaches, visual disturbances, facial pain, weakness and fatigue, insomnia, infertility, nausea and vomiting, and seizures.


The symptoms of the pituitary gland depend on the type of hormone released by the tumor. Some of the pituitary gland symptoms include headache, facial pain, infertility, low libido, breast discharge, weight loss, and weakness. Although the exact pituitary tumor causes have not been identified yet, genetic mutations may be one of the possible causes. The side effects of a pituitary tumor are due to excessive hormonal secretion.

Frequently Asked Questions

The growth of a pituitary tumor depends on its characteristics. Although most pituitary tumors are slow-growing, some tumors rapidly grow.

Not all tumors present symptoms, especially slow-growing tumors. These are diagnosed during the evaluation of other health conditions.

Pituitary tumors primarily affect the pituitary gland. Pituitary adenoma stays in the pituitary gland, while pituitary carcinoma may spread to the spine and meninges.

People with some underlying conditions, such as McCune-Albright syndrome and the Carney complex, are at increased risk for pituitary tumors.

Pituitary gland tumors may affect the digestive system and cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as frequent bowel movements, nausea, and vomiting.

A pituitary tumor headache may be seen in the centre of the forehead or on one side only.

Some of the pituitary tumor symptoms related to the eyes include difficulty with eye movements, blurry or double vision, and loss of peripheral vision.