Craniopharyngioma tumors are a rare form of noncancerous brain tumor that forms on the brain’s pituitary gland.
Most often occurring in children and older adults, craniopharyngioma tumors are benign and grow slowly. They do not spread to other portions of the brain. As a craniopharyngioma tumor grows, it can affect the function of the pituitary gland, the part of the brain that controls vision and hormone secretion, among other things.
Surgical removal is most often recommended as the first step in treating a craniopharyngioma. In some instances, minimally invasive techniques can be leveraged by accessing the tumor through the nose with special surgical tools. Other times, open craniopharyngioma surgery will be required. If the entire tumor cannot be removed because of its proximity to important brain structures, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be recommended to remove the remaining portions of the tumor.
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There are several symptoms of craniopharyngioma tumors based on their severity:
- Changes in vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems with balance or walking
- Behavioral changes
- Weight gain
- Excessive thirst or urination
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