Gynaecomastia (sometimes referred to as "man boobs") is a common condition that causes boys’ and men’s breasts to swell and become larger than normal. It is most common in teenage boys and older men.
What are the signs of gynaecomastia?
Signs vary from a small amount of extra tissue around the nipples to more prominent breasts. It can affect one or both breasts.
Sometimes, the breast tissue can be tender or painful, but this isn’t always the case.
What causes gynaecomastia?
Gynaecomastia can have several causes
If the balance of hormone Estrogen (a "female hormone" that men also have) and Testosterone in the body changes, this can cause a man’s breasts to grow. Sometimes, the cause of this imbalance is unknown.
A common reason for gynaecomastia is that being very overweight (obese) can increase levels of Estrogen, which can cause breast tissue to grow;but losing weight or doing more exercise may not improve the condition.
3)Newborn baby boys
Gynaecomastia can affect newborn baby boys, because oestrogen passes through the placenta from the mother to the baby.
During puberty, boys’ hormone levelsvary. Gynaecomastia at puberty usually clears up as boys get older and their hormone levels become more stable.
5)Older age- Middle-aged and older men can also have the condition.
In rare cases, gynaecomastia can be caused by: side effects of medication ,illegal drugs – such as cannabis or anabolic steroids ,drinking too much alcohol or health abnormality .
Treatment for gynaecomastia
Usually you don't need to be treated. Teenagers' breasts will go back to a more normal shape on their own, often within 2 to 3 years.
But if you’re worried about breast tissue growth, see your doctor. Your doctor may test your blood or hormones to get more information if a physical exam shows that your breast size is larger than normal, the lump is sore, or your lymph nodes are swollen.
Gynecomastia caused by breast cancer is rare. But if your doctor suspects a tumor, he may send you for a mammogram. Some men also get a biopsy ,only if your doctor suggest so.There is no need to panic as these are just tests to rule out extreme underlying conditions which is very rare.
If your GP thinks treatment is needed, there are two types of treatment for gynaecomastia:
>Surgery to remove the excess breast tissue and medication to adjust a hormone imbalance.
>Always see your GP if the area is very painful or there is an obvious lump.
Gaining too much weight, using steroids, or taking drugs that affect your testosterone levels can all cause your gynecomastia to come back even after treatment.
Your GP can discuss the treatment options with you and choose which is suitable for you.