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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Acromegaly
Acromegaly [posted 1/8/99]
Answer: They've done what is currently possible. It will depend on whether the tumor continues to grow. He may get improvement with time, hard to predict.
Answer: What would you expect a surgeon to say. There are many different types of acromegaly- depending a great deal on the size of the tumor. Many neurosurgeons insist on prior treatment to shrink the tumor. None of the current options has 100% success and physicians are consequently attempting different scenarios to achieve higher success rates. The three options are surgery, beam radiation and drugs.
Answer: Acromegaly comes from the overproduction of human growth hormone by the
pituitary. Any internist or endocrinologist could treat this easily. Drugs can be given to
normalize the levels of the growth hormone (easily checked by blood tests) and
bromocriptine is usually started to decrease the levels. Usually, radiation of the
pituitary or trans-spenhoidal surgery to remove part of the pituitary will be necessary as
well. A newer drug is octreotide and more patients than previously are getting resolution
of their levels with this drug. Whether it will completely replace surgery and radiation
treatment is currently not clear. If his physicians are having difficulty, get a second
opinion. This is not exotic treatment, nor unusual.
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