Pituitary Tumors

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

How are pituitary tumors staged?

Staging is the process of determining how far a cancer has spread. This is done to guide treatment and to help determine the most likely outcome for the patient. However, since pituitary tumors are nearly always benign, there is no staging system for them. Pituitary carcinoma is too rare for a staging system to have been developed.

Currently, the most useful information for guiding the treatment of an adenoma is:

  • Whether it is a microadenoma (smaller than 1 centimeter across) or macroadenoma (1 centimeter across or larger)
  • Whether it has grown into nearby structures (such as bones of the skull)
  • Whether it is functional (producing hormones) or non-functional
  • Which hormone it releases

Last Medical Review: 01/11/2013
Last Revised: 01/11/2013