Pituitary Gland Tumor: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 02/2022

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with a pituitary gland tumor each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

Because the pituitary gland is located next to the brain, this type of tumor is sometimes classified as a “brain tumor” in data collection, including by the World Health Organization.

About 13,870 pituitary gland tumors will be diagnosed in the United States this year, making up about 17% of all primary brain tumors. Very few pituitary gland tumors will be cancerous.

Older adults are more likely to be diagnosed with this type of tumor, but it can occur at any age. When a person aged 15 to 19 has a brain tumor, a pituitary gland tumor is a common subtype diagnosis (33% of brain tumors in this age group). Women are more likely to develop these tumors than men. This type of tumor is also more likely to develop in Black people than White people.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the tumor is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people with a pituitary gland tumor is 97%. Survival rates depend on the type of tumor, the person’s age, and other factors.

It is important to remember that statistics on survival rates for people with a pituitary gland tumor are an estimate. Experts generally measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how a pituitary gland tumor is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society website and the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States Statistical Report: Primary Brain and Other Central Nervous System Tumors Diagnosed in the United States in 2014–2018 (published October 2021). (All sources accessed February 2022.)

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors. It describes the factors that may increase the chance of developing a pituitary gland tumor. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.