Pituitary Gland Tumor: Risk Factors

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2022

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing a pituitary gland tumor. Use the menu to see other pages.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a tumor. Although risk factors often influence the development of a tumor, most do not directly cause a tumor. Some people with several risk factors never develop a tumor, while others with no known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

There is no evidence that environmental factors play a role in the development of a pituitary gland tumor. The only known risk factors are the 3 hereditary syndromes explained below. Genetic testing is available for these conditions.

  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1). Families with MEN1 have an increased risk of pituitary gland tumors.

  • Carney complex. Like MEN1, the Carney complex is a rare genetic condition that can increase the risk of a pituitary gland tumor.

  • Familial acromegaly. Acromegaly is a condition in adults that is caused by too much growth hormone. This disorder is due to a mutation in the AIP gene. Familial acromegaly can occur as part of MEN1, described above, or alone within a family.

The next section in this guide is Symptoms and Signs. It explains what changes or medical problems a pituitary gland tumor can cause. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.