Drawn by an opportunity to hear from the best, nearly 200 patients with pituitary disease and their family members turned out for an information evening that brought together London specialists from various disciplines considered leaders in their collaborative approach to pituitary disease treatment.
Shuttleworth Auditorium was filled to capacity for the session, called Understanding Pituitary Disease, held on Oct. 4 at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The turnout didn’t surprise endocrinologist Dr. Stan Van Uum, who says patients with pituitary disease are frequently searching for answers due to the complexities of the disease.
“Pituitary disease can affect every organ in the body and so many aspects of a person’s life,” explains Dr. Van Uum. “It’s complex, abstract and can be difficult to understand. Patients have a lot of questions when they come in for clinic visits. We often don’t have the time to answer them all, and there is a lot of information out there that may be confusing. We felt an information evening would be beneficial.”
The citywide pituitary team includes neuro-ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, neuro-radiologists, neurosurgeons, and otolaryngologists - head and neck surgeons. With all disciplines presenting at the information evening, patients gained insight into the disease and latest treatments, including an inside look, literally, of brain surgery to remove a pituitary tumour via a video of an actual surgery.
Also during the evening, two patients inspired hope by sharing their personal stories of care and recovery, and the physicians took the time to answer questions.
In London, these experts work collaboratively as part of the One-Stop Pituitary Clinic, which is unique in the care of patients. Through the St. Joseph’s Hospital clinic, newly referred patients conveniently receive initial lab testing, visual field testing and consults with multiple specialists all on the same day. Prior to arriving, patients receive an itinerary of their appointments as well as education about the pituitary and what they can expect during their visit.
Patients from across the region attended the information evening, some travelling a long distance to do so. Many expressed appreciation for the learning opportunity.