Pituitary Adenoma: The Basics

Author: OncoLink Team
Last Reviewed: July 14, 2022

The pituitary gland is found between the eyes, just under the brain, and is made up of two parts: the anterior (front) pituitary and the posterior (back) pituitary. The two parts make different hormones. Hormones help your body work. A pituitary adenoma is a non-cancerous (benign) growth that almost always grows in the anterior part of the pituitary gland.


The only known risk is having a genetic mutation like MEN-1, Carney complex, or FIPA.

Signs of Pituitary Adenoma

Sometimes there are no signs of pituitary adenoma. You can have changes in eyesight or headaches. In some cases, the signs are from too much hormone being made by the pituitary gland.

Diagnosis of Pituitary Adenoma

When your healthcare providers think you may have a pituitary adenoma, they will do a full exam of your body and ask you questions about your health history. They also may order tests:

  • MRI.
  • CT.
  • Blood tests to check for too much of certain hormones.

Staging Pituitary Adenoma

Pituitary adenomas are not often staged but instead are classified as:

  • Macroadenomas (larger) or microadenomas (smaller).
  • Secreting (make hormones, also called functional) or non-secreting (do not make hormones, also called non-functional).


Often, these treatments are used:

  • Surgery, the type depends on your cancer.
  • Radiation, the use of high energy x-rays to kill cells, is used after surgery in some cases.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery is the use of a large dose of radiation in one or a few days.
  • Medications can be used to treat adenomas that make too much of a hormone or hormones.

This article is a basic guide to pituitary adenoma. You can learn more about your type of pituitary adenoma and treatment by using the links below.

Staging and Treatment: Pituitary Adenoma


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