When to Worry About Male Breasts

Determining the Cause for Gynecomastia

It is recommended that men who have enlarged or swollen breasts see a doctor for an evaluation. If gynecomastia is the diagnosis, most cases are benign and can be left untreated unless it is embarrassing and causes emotional stress, in which case surgery may be recommended.

Your doctor will ask many questions to find out what may have caused breast enlargement such as:

• When did your breast first become swollen?
• Do you drink alcohol? How much?
• Do you take prescriptions drugs? Illegal drugs?
• Do you take any supplements or steroids?

Additionally, the doctor will want to know if you have any of the following:
• Do you have any relatives with breast cancer?
• Klinefelter’s Syndrome?
• Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
• Estrogen therapy for prostate cancer?

Too Much Estrogen May Produce Breasts

Males have both male and female hormones with the male hormone more dominate. If something is blocking or reducing the male hormone, testosterone, it will make the female hormone, estrogen more dominate, possibly allowing the development of breasts.

If the doctor can’t determine the cause of gynecomastia, it may be recommended that the patient sees an endocrinologist for further testing.

Breast cancer in men is very rare, but it does occur so any unusual changes in either breast should be checked out.

What to Watch For

Some concerning symptoms that you should see a doctor about immediately would be:
• A mass that is fast growing on one side of the chest
• A bloody or milky discharge from the nipple
• Changes of the skin on the breast

The risk for men in getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000 and mostly for men between the ages of 60 and 70. African American men seem to be at a higher risk than Caucasian men.

Breast cancer in men can be more serious than for women because it usually is not detected as early and the cancer may have already spread to the lymph nodes.

Do Not Wait if You Have Symptoms

Dr. Miguel Delgado advises men if they have any unusual symptoms to seek medical attention right away. Call now (415) 898-4161 for a consultation with Dr. Delgado to discuss any issues or questions you may have about your breasts.

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