SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pituitary gland cancer. Coloured profile X-ray of the skull of a patient with cancer of the pituitary gland. The front of the skull is at left. The adenoma (tumour) has caused the erosion of the sella turcica (faint circular outline at centre), the bony box that the pituitary gland sits in. The pituitary gland produces hormones that control many of the body's processes. Pituitary tumours can cause hormonal imbalances due to loss of glandular tissue, or the overproduction of hormones by tumour cells. They may also affect vision by pressing on the optic nerve. Treatment is with surgical removal of the tumour, combined with radiation or chemotherapy. For a clearer comparison between this skull and a normal one, see image M134/659.
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