You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. If your doctor finds evidence of a pituitary tumor, he or she might recommend you see specialists, such as a brain surgeon (neurosurgeon) or a doctor who specializes in treating disorders of the endocrine system (endocrinologist). Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
Finding out you have a pituitary tumor can be frightening. Through the process of getting a diagnosis, learn as much as you can about your condition, and give your doctor as much information as possible.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to soak up all the information you get during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Take notes or record your discussion with your doctor, or ask a friend or family member to do it.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions for your doctor will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important. For a pituitary tumor, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What specialists should I see?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment at any time.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
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- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Pituitary tumors information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/pituitary_tumors/pituitary_tumors.htm. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
- Pituitary tumors. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/PituitaryTumors/DetailedGuide/index. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
- Pituitary tumors treatment — Health professional version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/pituitary/HealthProfessional. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
- Pituitary tumors treatment — Patient version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/pituitary/Patient. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
- Erickson DX (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 21, 2012.
- Parlodel (prescribing information). East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; 2012. http://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/product/pi/pdf/parlodel.pdf. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Cycloset (prescribing information). San Diego, Calif.: VeroScience, LLC; 2010. http://www.veroscience.com/CyclosetFDAapprovedPackageInsert.htm. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Cabergoline (prescribing information). Sellersville, Pa.: Teva Pharmaceuticals; 2012. http://www.tevagenerics.com/default.aspx?pageid=3364&sortby=ProductName&ProductName=Cabergoline+Tablets&BrandName=Dostinex%C2%AE+Tablets. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Martinkova J, et al. Impulse control disorders associated with dopaminergic medication in patients with pituitary adenomas. Clinical Neuropharmacology. 2011;34:179.
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