Gynecomastia is the term for breast enlargement in men. This non-cancerous swelling of breast tissue, can affect either one or both breasts, and can cause breast pain. Gynecomastia typically results from changes in hormone levels. It most often presents as a lump or general enlargement of the breast.
Both newborn babies and boys going through puberty may experience gynecomastia, but the condition usually goes away on its own in those cases.
You may also develop gynecomastia if you:
- Are undergoing chemotherapy
- Have chronic liver disease
- Use marijuana
- Have been exposed to anabolic steroids or estrogen
- Have a testosterone deficiency
- Have an overactive thyroid
- Take certain medications
- Have testicular cancer
- Are obese
Diagnosis of Gynecomastia
One of our breast care experts should examine any unusual breast tissue swelling or pain. After a physical examination, your doctor may request additional tests to make sure you have no other underlying conditions. These tests may include:
- Blood tests to check your hormone levels
- Ultrasound or digital mammogram to visualize the inside of the breast
- Liver and kidney function studies
- Testicular exam and/or ultrasound
Treatment for Gynecomastia
If our breast surgeons determine that your gynecomastia is caused by an underlying condition, they will recommend treatment for that condition. Sometimes, if medication is causing the condition, those medications can be discontinued or changed. In some cases, surgery will be recommended.