Pituitary adenomas are benign Tumours which arise from the pituitary gland itself. They are almost never malignant. Pituitary Tumours can be either secretory or non-secretory, referring to whether they overproduce pituitary hormones. Secretory Tumours cause disease because of the excess quantities of hormones which they secrete (release) into the bloodstream. The most common type of secretory pituitary tumour is termed a prolactinoma.
In Australia, around 200-400 people a year will suffer with Prolactinoma that needs tretment. Problems can arise from both large and small tumours, depending on hormonal secretion and pressure on surrounding structures.
Symptoms: When prolactin levels get increased there will be no periods, milk production will occur (infrequent in men), loss of axillary and pubic hair and Small gonads, gynecomastia, erectile dysfunction (in males). When there is mass effect then, bitemporal hemianopsia (due to pressure on optic chiasm), vertigo, nausea, vomiting are the symptoms.