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Gynecomastia In Men

What is gynecomastia? - Abnormal breast glandular development in a male. - Often presents as a tender, firm 'disc' just behind the nipple. Why do I have it? - Male breast development is usually due to an imbalance of estrogens ("female" hormones) and androgens ("male" hormones) or to increased sensitivity of the breast to circulating estrogens. - Common in newborn and teenaged boys; usually resolves in these populations. - Later "peak" occurs in middle-aged and elderly males.

What are some specific causes?

- Certain prescription drugs (including, but not limited to: android, casodex, eulexin, ketoconazole, lunesta, lupron,

metronidazole, nilandron, serostim, spironolactone, tagamet, testoderm, valera, vantis, viadur and zoladex).

- Excessive marijuana use.

- Anabolic steroid use.

- Excessive weight gain/obesity.

- Androgen insensitivity.

- Certain hormone-secreting lung or testicular tumors.

- Cirrhosis of the liver or kidney failure.

- Alcoholism.

- Chronic anti-retroviral therapy.

Is it dangerous?

- In and of itself, gynecomastia is not dangerous. However, imaging and physical exams should occur to rule out a possible


- Breast cancer occurs in about 2000 males each year in the United States. Signs of cancer include a hard, fixed lump, one-sided breast enlargement, skin ulceration or bloody nipple discharge.

How is it diagnosed?

- Gynecomastia has a characteristic appearance on imaging exams. You will likely be imaged with a mammogram and

ultrasound of both of your breasts.

- Physical exam.

What can be done to treat it?

- If a specific cause is found, treating the cause may reduce or eliminate breast enlargement.

- Much of the time a specific cause is not discovered; management of any discomfort becomes the focus of treatment.

- Rarely breast reduction surgery is recommended.

This article was provided to 9NEWS by the Breast Care Center at St. Joseph Hospital.

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