Craniopharyngioma : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Definition

A craniopharyngioma is a benign tumor that develops near the pituitary gland (a small endocrine gland at the base of the brain).

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

This tumor most commonly affects children between 5 and 10 years of age; however, adults can sometimes be affected. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop this condition.

Pictures & Images

Endocrine glands

Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).


Review Date : 9/20/2008
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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