Deciding which pituitary cancer treatment to choose depends on dozens of factors. You'll need to learn all you can about your specific diagnosis. Pituitary cancers can be small, easily treated tumors or they can be multi-organ cancers that affect multiple parts of the body. You'll need to discuss your options with your doctor and it's advised that you do your own research, too. The good news is there are many effective treatments to choose from.
Find out What Your Options Are for Pituitary Cancer Treatment
Things You'll Need
- Computer with Internet connection
Ensure you are consulting with a pituitary cancer specialist. If your doctor hasn't treated individuals with your type of cancer, ask to be referred to someone who has.
Get all the literature and details you can about the kind of pituitary cancer you have, the stage it is currently in and the treatments available by visiting the National Cancer Institute Web site (see Resources below). Options include hormone therapy, radiation and surgery.
Tell your specialist about any other health problems you have, including your family's medical history.
Consider your age, overall health and insurance coverage when deciding which treatment to choose. For those in poor health or with compromised immune systems, radiation and hormone therapy are usually better options than surgery.
Choose the Treatment That's Right for You
Realize that side effects are a given with all pituitary cancer treatments. Find out what you can do to prepare for and combat these effects before treatment begins.
Follow the recommended preparations for your treatment religiously. Diet is key, and tobacco and alcohol should be eradicated during and after treatment for the best chance of success.
Find out what the time demands are for your selected treatment so you can arrange your schedule accordingly.
Consider surgery. Surgery offers a very good chance for full recovery, as 50 to 90 percent of hormone-secreting tumors can be cured with surgery. Possible risks include damage to the pituitary, nerves, brain tissue or blood vessels.
Consider radiation, in which advanced x-rays are targeted to kill cancerous cells. Radiation is typically used when a cancerous tumor is exceptionally large or close to the optic nerve. Potential side effects can include a decline in mental functioning and pituitary functioning.