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- Patient Comments: Gynecomastia - Symptoms
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- Gynecomastia facts
- What is gynecomastia?
- What causes gynecomastia?
- What are the risk factors for gynecomastia?
- What are the symptoms of gynecomastia?
- When should I call the doctor about gynecomastia?
- How is gynecomastia diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for gynecomastia?
- Surgical treatments
- What are the complications of gynecomastia?
- Can gynecomastia be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for gynecomastia?
What are the risk factors for gynecomastia?
Normally-developing pubertal males may be at risk for gynecomastia that is part of the normal developmental process. Normal male infants also may have gynecomastia. Other risk factors include aging, since aging may promote decreases in testosterone production that can cause gynecomastia. The risk factors for developing gynecomastia related to specific diseases and conditions (such as cirrhosis of the liver) are the same risk factors that predispose to those conditions. Taking certain medications (see above) may increase the risk of developing gynecomastia.
What are the symptoms of gynecomastia?
The primary symptom of gynecomastia is enlargement of the male breasts. As mentioned before, gynecomastia is the enlargement of glandular tissue rather than fatty tissue. It is typically symmetrical in location with regard to the nipple and may have a rubbery or firm feel. Gynecomastia usually occurs on both sides but can be unilateral in some cases. The enlargement may be greater on one side even if both sides are involved. Tenderness and sensitivity may be present, although there is typically no severe pain.
The most important distinction with gynecomastia is differentiation from male breast cancer, which accounts for about 1% of overall cases of breast cancer. Cancer is usually confined to one side, is not necessarily centered around the nipple, feels hard or firm, and can be associated with dimpling of the skin, retraction of the nipple, nipple discharge, and enlargement of the underarm (axillary) lymph nodes.