Surgical excision will allow accurate diagnosis of the type of tumour and relieve pressure on surrounding structures. The preferred surgery is the trans-sphenoidal approach where tumour is removed through the nasal passage via an incision in the mouth or nose.
Another approach is the craniotomy where a portion of the bone skull is removed to gain access to the tumour. The bone will later be replaced following the tumour’s removal.
Thyroxine and hydrocortisone tablets are the common drugs which help replace hormones deficiencies. Drug therapy may be lifelong treatment and must be continued even in sickness. Bromocryptine or Cabergoline is given when the tumour produced large amount of prolactin, as suppressing prolactin production may cause shrinkage of the tumour.
Pituitary tumours in patients unfit for surgery or those that extend beyond the pituary fossa require treatment by radiation. Radiation treatment is also an option for small pituitary tumours that do not compress the optic nerves. Radiation is carried out using the Novalis Shaped-Beam machine located at the NNI-Khoo Teck Puat Radiosurgery Suite at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Level B1, Block 2 . This delivers narrow beams of strong radiation aimed precisely at the tumour from many different directions. Normal brain tissue therefore receives only a fraction of the total radiation dose received by the tumour. Exact knowledge of the tumour location is necessary, and this is achieved by securing the head firmly but painless in a custom-made mask system and doing a CT scan of the head with the mask system in place. For treatment planning, an MRI scan of the head is also required.
It is very important to visit your doctor regularly for follow up with laboratory tests of hormone levels and imaging studies e.g. MRI. If recurrence is diagnosed, further treatment may be necessary. Large recurrence may require radiation therapy and/ or drug therapy as well.
Subcribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your email inbox...
Best viewed on IE 11, Firefox 27, Chrome 22, and Safari 7 and above.