Pituitary Tumor Causes

Most pituitary tumors are benign (non-cancerous), and no one really knows for sure what causes most pituitary tumors to develop on your pituitary gland.

However, some pituitary tumors may be hereditary. A small number of pituitary tumors are caused by a rare genetic disorder called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN 1). This endocrine disorder can lead to over-activity or enlargement of 3 different endocrine-related glands, including the pituitary gland.

If you have a pituitary tumor, your doctor may do a simple blood test to rule out MEN 1. But as far as non-hereditary pituitary tumors, the cause remains unknown. Scientists are unsure what causes the uncontrolled growth of certain cells that leads to a pituitary tumor.

What we do know is that pituitary tumors cause certain hormones to be produced excessively, such as growth hormone or thyroid-stimulating hormone.

Whether the cause of your pituitary tumor is unknown or MEN 1, there are several treatment options for pituitary tumors.

View Sources


  • Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. Volume II. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2010.
  • Pituitary tumor page. MedlinePlus Web site. Available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000704.htm. November 15, 2010. Accessed November 30, 2010.
  • Pituitary tumors page. Mayo Clinic Web site. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pituitary-tumors/DS00533. June 5, 2010. Accessed November 30, 2010.