A neoplasm of the pituitary gland is a tumour or an abnormal growth that forms on the gland itself. Its presence can result in an excessive or inadequate production of various hormones in the body. Pituitary tumours, as they are also called, can be either benign or malignant. Benign growths are known as adenomas, which remain on the pituitary gland. Malignant neoplasms, on the other hand, can grow and spread to other organs in the body.
Due to the unique effects of pituitary tumours compared to other types of tumours, the treatment of a pituitary neoplasm requires a different approach. Patients are placed under the care of a multi-disciplinary team consisting of a general physician, an oncologist, a dietitian, and an endocrinologist. Seeking the care of specialists or a multi-disciplinary team can be an expensive endeavour and efficient pituitary cancer treatment is also not widely available in some countries. Thus, those seeking the help of specialists in managing pituitary neoplasms will have the best outlook by considering medical tourism as an option.
Neoplasms of the pituitary glands are best treated through a two-stage method. First, the tumour itself is removed. Second, the patient undergoes therapy to ensure that no malignant cells remain in the body. Today, however, modern surgical technology and innovative breakthroughs in radiation technology have revolutionised the way neoplasms are treated. While such advances are not yet available in all countries, they are now being used to treat both local and international patients in Southeast Asia.
Thanks to the steady growth of the medical tourism industry in the region, countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand get first access to the latest innovations in medical technology. This allows these countries’ top-notch specialists to provide their patients with the best and most promising treatments available. Despite this, the cost of healthcare in the region remains affordable compared to that of the West, such as in the US and Europe.
For pituitary tumour removal, surgical oncologists in Southeast Asia now widely use minimally invasive surgery through the transsphenoidal route. This means that the procedure accesses the pituitary gland from the nostrils and through the nasal passage using an endoscope. After the procedure, patients undergo the most advanced radiation treatments available. While the more common external beam radiation therapy is also effective, there are other more innovative options available in Southeast Asia. These include stereotactic radiation therapy, which delivers high doses of radiation directly to the tumour and reduces side effects commonly associated with radiation therapy.