Hormone-Secreting Tumors, What are hormone-secreting tumors?, What are the symptoms of hormone-secreting tumors?, How are hormone-secreting tumors diagnosed and treated?, Resources
Books and Articles
Cook, Louis J., and Jeri Freedman. Brain Tumors. New York: Rosen, 2012.
Parks, Peggy. Brain Tumors. San Diego: ReferencePoint Press, 2011.
Wilson, Michael R. The Endocrine System: Hormones, Growth, and Development. New York: Rosen, 2009.
American Brain Tumor Association. 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 550, Chicago, IL 60631. Telephone: 773-577-8750. Website:
(accessed March 29, 2016).
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892-2560. Telephone: 301-496-3583. Website:
(accessed March 29, 2016).
Pituitary Network Association. PO Box 1958, Thousand Oaks, CA 91358. Telephone: 805-499-9973. Website:
(accessed June 13, 2016).
* benign (beh-NINE) refers to a condition that is not cancerous or serious and will probably improve, go away, or not get worse.
* malignant (ma-LIG-nant) refers to a condition that is very serious and likely to worsen. The term is usually used to refer to a tumor or cells that are cancerous.
* glands are cells, groups of cells, or organs that produce, store, and release substances such as hormones and chemicals that regulate body functions.
* endocrine (EN-duh-krin) refers to a body system composed of a group of glands, such as the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands, and the hormones they produce. The endocrine glands secrete the hormones they produce directly into the bloodstream. These hormones travel to cells that have receptors for them. Hormones regulate many functions, including metabolism, growth, and mood.
* nasal (NA-zal) means of or relating to the nose.
* hypothalamus (hy-po-THALuh-mus) is an almond-shaped structure located above the brain stem. One of its important functions is linking the nervous system and endocrine system by controlling the release of hormones by the pituitary gland. It also regulates hunger, thirst, sleep, body temperature, and other body functions.
* growth hormone is a chemical substance produced by the pituitary gland that regulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration. It is also known as so matotropin (so-MAT-oh-TRO-pin).
* cortisol (KOR-ti-sol) is a hormone that plays a part in regulating metabolism, blood pressure, and the immune system. As the body's primary stress hormone, it also plays a critical role in the stress response.
* hyperthyroidism (hy-per-THYEroyd-ih-zum) is excessive activity of the thyroid gland, characterized by an enlarged thyroid gland, increased metabolic rate, rapid heartbeat, and high blood pressure.
* mutations (mu-TAY-shuns) are changes in a chromosome or a gene.
* insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. It is crucial in controlling the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood and in helping body cells use glucose to produce energy. When the body cannot produce or use insulin properly, a person must inject insulin or take other medications.
* convulsions (kon-VUL-shuns), also called seizures, are involuntary muscle contractions caused by electrical discharges within the brain and are usually accompanied by changes in consciousness.
* glucagon is a hormone produced by alpha cells in the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas. Glucagon stimulates the release of glycogen from the liver, which stores glucose in the form of glycogen for use in raising blood sugar when needed.
* lymph nodes (LIMF) are small, bean-shaped masses of tissue containing immune cells that fight harmful microorganisms. Lymph nodes may swell during infections.
* lesion (LEE-zhun) is a general term referring to a sore or a damaged or irregular area of tissue.
* MRI is short for magnetic resonance imaging, which produces computerized images of internal body tissues using magnets and radio waves.
* neurological (nur-uh-LAH-je-kal) refers to the nervous system, which includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves that control the senses, movement, and organ functions throughout the body.
* kidney stones are hard structures that form in the urinary tract when chemicals in the urine become overly concentrated. These stones can obstruct the flow of urine and cause tissue damage and pain as the body attempts to pass the stones through the urinary tract.
* diabetes (dye-uh-BEE-teez) is a condition in which the body's pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body cannot use the insulin it makes effectively, resulting in increased levels of sugar in the blood.
* osteoporosis (os-tee-o-por-Osis) is the loss of bone mass that makes the bones weak and brittle.
* depression (dih-PRESH-un) is a mental disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, despair, and hopelessness.
* high blood pressure also called hypertension, is a condition in which the blood traveling through the arteries as a result of the heart's pumping action exerts greater than normal force against the blood vessel walls. This can lead to heart, kidney, blood vessel, and other damage.
* coma (KO-ma) is an unconscious state, like a very deep sleep. A person in a coma cannot be awakened, and is usually unresponsive to stimuli.
* ulcers are open sores on the skin or in the lining of a body organ, such as the stomach or intestine. They may or may not be painful.
* isotope (ICE-oh-tope) refers to a variety of a particular atom or chemical that contains an unstable combination of atomic particles.
* antibody (AN-tih-bah-dee) is a protein produced by the body's immune system to attack a specific antigen, or foreign substance, that enters the body. Antigens often consist of microorganisms like bacteria.
* enzyme (EN-zime) is a protein that helps start or speed up a chemical reaction in cells or organisms.
* CT scan, or computed tomography, is a medical diagnostic tool that uses special x-rays to generate computerized images of internal body structures.
* ultrasound, also called a sonogram, is a diagnostic test in which sound waves passing through the body create images on a computer screen.
* biopsy (BI-op-see) is a test in which a small sample of body tissue is removed and examined for signs of disease.
* radiation therapy is a treatment that uses a high-energy radiation beam consisting of x-rays or other forms of energy to shrink and stop either malignant or benign tumor-cell growth.
* dopamine agonists (DO-puhmeen) (a-guh-nists) are medications that mimic the actions of the brain chemical dopamine in the body. One of dopamine's normal jobs is controlling prolactin production. But dopamine agonists are stronger and longerlasting than natural dopamine, so they can effectively treat prolactinomas.
* chemotherapy (KEE-mo-THER-apee) is the treatment of cancer with powerful drugs that kill cancer cells.