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- Patient Comments: Gynecomastia - Symptoms
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- Patient Comments: Gynecomastia - Treatment
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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?
Reduction mammoplasty (breast reduction surgery) has been used in cases of severe gynecomastia, long-term gynecomastia, or in cases in which drug therapies have not been effective.
What are the complications of gynecomastia?
Although pubertal gynecomastia typically regresses on its own, in rare cases it may persist, requiring treatment. Gynecomastia that is present over the long term (12 months or more) may undergo scarring (medically termed fibrosis), making treatment with medications much more difficult if not impossible to achieve a response.
Psychological consequences can occur if the breast enlargement is pronounced or is a source of embarrassment.
Can gynecomastia be prevented?
Gynecomastia that occurs because of hormonal fluctuations with growth or aging cannot be prevented. Gynecomastia related to medical conditions can only be prevented to the extent that the underlying or responsible condition can be prevented.
What is the prognosis for gynecomastia?
Many cases of gynecomastia resolve without treatment, and medical treatment is effective in reducing gynecomastia in many cases. For severe cases or cases in which the breast tissue has become scarred, surgical techniques can help restore normal appearance. Typically, gynecomastia is not associated with long-term problems.
Men with gynecomastia have about a five-fold greater risk for developing male breast cancer when compared with the general population. It is believed that the gynecomastia itself is not a precancerous condition, but rather that the hormonal changes (relative increase in estrogens, lower levels of androgens) that produce gynecomastia in adult men also increase their risk of developing breast cancer.
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care
Brinton LA, Carreon JD, Gierach GL, McGlynn KA, Gridley G. Etiologic factors for male breast cancer in the U.S. Veterans Affairs medical care system database. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Mar 29.