Key Statistics About Pituitary Tumors

About 10,000 pituitary tumors are diagnosed each year in the United States. Almost all of these tumors are benign pituitary adenomas. Very few pituitary tumors are cancers (carcinomas).

The actual number of pituitary tumors may be much higher than the number of tumors that are found each year. When examining people who have died or who have had imaging tests (like MRI scans) of their brain for other health problems, doctors have found that as many as 1 out of 4 people may have a pituitary adenoma without knowing it. These tumors are often small and never cause any symptoms or health problems, so very few of them would normally be diagnosed at all.

Pituitary tumors can occur at any age (including in children), but they are most often found in older adults.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Revised: November 2, 2017

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