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Baylor College of Medicine News

Scott Hamilton to keynote pituitary awareness event

He won gold in the 1984 Winter Olympics and since then his winning attitude hasn’t faltered, even as he faced the diagnosis of a tumor at the base of his brain. Now, figure skater Scott Hamilton is teaming up with Baylor College of Medicine to bring awareness to pituitary tumors including craniopharyngiomas and pituitary adenomas, as well as other pituitary disorders.

Hamilton will be the guest speaker at the event hosted by the Pituitary Center at Baylor on Sept. 10 at Hotel Zaza, 5701 Main St. The event, starting at 5:30 p.m., will focus on raising awareness of the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating pituitary disorders, as well as the importance of education and support as one faces a diagnosis.

Under the leadership of surgical director Dr. Daniel Yoshor, professor of neurosurgery at BCM and chief of neurosurgery service at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, and endocrinologist Dr. Susan Samson, medical director and assistant professor of medicine at BCM, the Pituitary Center is made up of an integrated team of pituitary experts that also includes Dr. Mas Takashima, assistant professor of otolaryngology - head and neck surgery, Dr. Rod Foroozan, associate professor ophthalmology, and Dr. L. Steven Carpenter, clinical associate professor of radiology.

"The pituitary gland functions as the master control switch that regulates secretion of many of the hormones that are critical for good health. Tumors of the pituitary gland can cause serious problems in a person’s hormonal balance. In addition, large pituitary tumors can put unhealthy pressure on the optic nerves, which can lead to visual loss or blindness," Yoshor said. "Pituitary disorders are often complex, and successful diagnosis and treatment is best achieved with a multidisciplinary team of expert physicians who are truly dedicated to working together to care for patients with pituitary related problems."

Also important in the treatment process is education and support, which is the focus of Hamilton’s keynote speech at the event. Since his diagnosis of craniopharyngioma in 2004, and its recurrence in 2010, Hamilton has been an outspoken supporter of pituitary awareness, giving motivational talks. In 1997 he also fought and won a battle against testicular cancer. As an Olympic gold medalist, humanitarian, philanthropist and survivor, Hamilton is constantly reminding others that, with fortitude and determination, anything is possible. His motto remains, "The only disability in life is a bad attitude."

For more information on the event, contact Mary Bohlman at bohlman@bcm.edu.