How bad is cancer of the pituitary gland?

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How affective are the treatments?
What are the survival rates?
What could it mean?
I’m getting x-rays soon. The docs didn’t say I had it, but *Guys might want to stop reading* because I don’t get my period anymore (it’s been years now, I’m not pregnant) it might be a tumor on my pituitary gland. Any information?

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Sir K

Well… so much for the “*Guys might want to stop reading*”. Haha!
I have never even heard of it… to be honest. : ( But… I’m going to Google it… like everything else… I’ll be back, alright?
I hope you don’t have anything! (And you better not be pregnant! Haha! : ) )
——————
http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Cancertype/Brain/Typesofbraintumour/Pituitarytumours#9286
“Pituitary tumours
Cells within the brain normally grow in an orderly and controlled way, but if for some reason this order is disrupted, the cells continue to divide and form a lump or tumour.
A tumour may be either benign or malignant. Although a benign tumour can continue to grow, the cells do not spread from the original site. In a malignant tumour, the cells can invade and destroy surrounding tissue and may spread to other parts of the brain.
Tumours affecting the whole of the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain and spinal cord, are fairly rare.
About 4500 people are diagnosed with brain tumours each year in the UK. They are most commonly found in young or middle-aged adults.
Almost all tumours of the pituitary gland are benign and do not spread. They are sometimes called adenomas.
Pituitary tumours are either secreting (producing hormones) or non-secreting tumours (not producing hormones). Secreting tumours can release excess amounts of any of the pituitary hormones, and are named after the hormone that is being over-produced, for example, a prolactin-secreting tumour.
Causes of a pituitary tumour
As with most brain tumours, the cause of pituitary tumours is unknown. Research is being carried out into possible causes.”
The main site this is from is: http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Cancertype/Brain/Typesofbraintumour/Pituitarytumours
The site where those words are found is above the quote.
http://www.virtualcancercentre.com/diseases.asp?did=589
“What is Pituitary Gland Cancer?
Pituitary gland cancer presents in the pituitary gland.
The pituitary gland is a small gland situated in the “sella turcica”, a bony cavity at the base of the brain. It is connected to the hypothalamus by the pituitary stalk. The optic chiasm (part of the visual pathway) lies between the pituitary and the hypothalamus. The pituitary can be divided into two parts – the anterior pituitary and the posterior pituitary. Between them, the hypothalamus and pituitary control many of the peripheral hormone systems. The hypothalamus controls pituitary hormone secretion.”
“Probable Outcomes
Although the vast majority of pituitary tumours are benign, the intracranial location of these tumours brings with it certain implications. In functional pituitary gland tumours, the effects of the hormonal hypersecretion may have widespread effects on daily function – and can in themselves carry significant morbidity and mortality. Examples include hyperprolactinaemia (prolactinoma), acromegaly(somatotrophic adenoma), Cushing’s disease etc.
The mass effects of the tumours in patients with macroadenomas tend to be those arising from compression of neurological structures – bitemporal hemianopia being the classic presentation following suprasellar extension and compression of the optic chiasm.
Other sequelae can range from diplopia through CN III compression, to progressive increases in intracranial pressure and eventual herniation of cerebral contents with devastating effects on functional capacity.
However, the vast majority of pituitary adenomas go undiagnosed throughout life. Of those that are diagnosed, most are easily and successfully treated through a combination of surgical, medical and radiotherapeutic approaches. In order for the diagnosis of a pituitary carcinoma to be made, metastatic deposits must already be present. This has important implications for prognosis because the disease is no longer confined to the pituitary region.”
Note: I don’t really know the difference between a tumor or cancer come to think of it… but I’ll look that up in a few minutes too. Just so we both know.
Other links you may want to check out:
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/pituitary/Patient
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/pituitary
http://www.cancer.net/patient/Cancer+Types/Pituitary+Gland+Tumor
http://www.oncolink.org/types/article.cfm?c=4&s=9&ss=819&id=9538&CFID=6438582&CFTOKEN=36121215
Make sure to take note whether a site is talking about “tumors” or “cancer”. They probably aren’t the same thing!!!
http://cancerguide.org/basic.html (Difference between cancer and tumor)
“TNM Staging
In the TNM system, TNM stands for Tumor, Nodes, and Metastases. Each of these is categorized separately and classified with a number to give the total stage. Thus a T1N1M0 cancer means the patient has a T1 tumor, N1 lymph node involvement, and no distant metastases. Of course the definitions of T, N and M are specific to each cancer, but it is possible to give a general idea of what they mean.
T: Tumor
T Classifies the extent of the primary tumor, and is normally given as T0 through T4. T0 represents a tumor that has not even started to invade the local tissues. This is called “In Situ”. T4 on the other hand represents a large primary tumor that has probably invaded other organs by direct extension, and which is usually inoperable.
N: Lymph Nodes
N classifies the amount of regional lymph node involvement. It is important to understand that only the lymph nodes draining the area of the primary tumor are considered in this classification. Involvement of distant lymph nodes is considered to be metastatic disease. The definition of just which lymph nodes are regional depends on the type of cancer. N0 means no lymph node involvement while N4 means extensive involvement. In general more extensive involvement means some combination of more nodes involved, greater enlargement of the involved nodes, and more distant (But still regional) node involvement.
M: Metastasis
M is either M0 if there are no metastases or M1 if there are metastases.
As with the other system, the exact definitions for T and N are different for each different kind of cancer.
As you can see, the TNM system is more precise than the I through IV system and certainly has a lot more categories. The two systems are actually related. The I through IV groupings are actually defined using the TNM system. For example, stage II non-small cell lung cancer means a T1 or T2 primary tumor with N1 lymph node involvement, and no metastases (M0).”
Definition of Cancer:
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2580
“Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, in some cases, to metastasize (spread).
Cancer is not one disease. It is a group of more than 100 different and distinctive diseases.
Cancer can involve any tissue of the body and have many different forms in each body area. Most cancers are named for the type of cell or organ in which they start. If a cancer spreads (metastasizes), the new tumor bears the same name as the original (primary) tumor.
The frequency of a particular cancer may depend on gender. While skin cancer is the most common type of malignancy for both men and women, the second most common type in men is prostate cancer and in women, breast cancer.
Cancer frequency does not equate to cancer mortality. Skin cancers are often curable. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer for both men and women in the United States today.
Benign tumors are NOT cancer; malignant tumors are cancer. Cancer is NOT contagious.
Cancer is the Latin word for crab. The ancients used the word to mean a malignancy, doubtless because of the crab-like tenacity a malignant tumor sometimes seems to show in grasping the tissues it invades. Cancer may also be called malignancy, a malignant tumor, or a neoplasm (literally, a new growth).”
Definition of Tumor:
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5863
“Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be benign or malignant (cancerous). There are dozens of different types of tumors. Their names usually reflect the kind of tissue they arise in, and may also tell you something about their shape or how they grow. For example, a medulloblastoma is a tumor that arises from embryonic cells (a blastoma) in the inner part of the brain (the medulla). Diagnosis depends on the type and location of the tumor. Tumor marker tests and imaging may be used; some tumors can be seen (for example, tumors on the exterior of the skin) or felt (palpated with the hands).
Treatment is also specific to the location and type of the tumor. Benign tumors can sometimes simply be ignored, or they may be reduced in size (debulked) or removed entirely via surgery. For cancerous tumors, options include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. See also blastoma, carcinoembryonic antigen test, desmoid tumor, ear tumor, epidermoid carcinoma, epithelial carcinoma, esophageal cancer, syringoma, fibroid, tumor marker.”
Tell me if there is ANYTHING else I can do! Okay? Anything at all! If there is something I didn’t get as far as information goes, just tell me and I’ll look it up for you. Anything, alright?
I really, really hope you don’t have a tumor or cancer!!! :'(
Best of luck with the X-rays! Tell me how the results come out… alright?
I’m always here if you need me… okay? Anytime you need me.

Intelek

Well, considering that the Pituitary gland is in your brain (the hypothalamus to be exact) I would assume anything involving your brain is REALLY bad and worse than most other cancers.

Ray

Well it’s your brain so probably pretty bad

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