A hormonal imbalance can cause males of all ages to experience breast gland enlargement, also known as Gynecomastia. Although this condition is relatively common, affecting approximately one third of the male population, it can be a source of embarrassment and discomfort. The sudden change in your body can also be alarming and may cause you to be concerned about your overall health.
While Gynecomastia itself does not present a threat to your body, aside from its detrimental impact on your self-esteem, it may be indicative of an underlying health concern so it is best to seek the advice of a medical expert to rule out the conditions below.
In some instances, enlarged breasts may be symptomatic of testicular cancer because the Leydig cells, Sertoli cells or hCG-secreting choriocarcinoma that cause testicular tumors may also cause breast enlargement. However, this is very rare, as studies suggest that Gynecomastia is present in only 5% of testicular cancer patients.
Gynecomastia alone is not a sign of breast cancer. Deveoping Gynecomastia only on one side can be indicative of cancer. If, in addition to developing breast tissue, you experience changes to your breast’s skin colour, detect a lump, experience nipple discharge, or notice that your chest is red, scaly, or dimpled, it is important to consult with your doctor to ensure that it is not breast cancer. As with any other form of cancer, if left untreated, it can spread, so early detection is important.
Although Gynecomastia often develops naturally as a result of a hormone imbalance, it can also be triggered by steroid usage, which alters your body’s testosterone and estrogen levels. As a result, many bodybuilders who use steroids to build muscles develop Gynecomastia.
Enlarged male breasts may also be a sign of obesity, which presents a number of other health concerns. This condition, known as Pseudogynecomastia or lipomastia, is characterized by the development of fat in the breasts. In this case, weight loss can result in chest ptosis, or chest sagging, rather than eliminating the problem so surgery may be required to eliminate the excess fat and skin and a doctor should be consulted to help you regulate and maintain your weight.
Other Causes of Gynecomastia
There are a number of other causes of Gynecomastia: Certain Medications can lead to the development of breasts in men. Drugs and Alcohol, Thyroid disease, as well as Kidney and Liver Failure, can result in Gynecomastia. These should be ruled out by your doctor.
While Gynecomastia itself does not pose a health threat, it can have a devastating effect on an individual’s self-esteem and may even impact the personal and professional lives of affected individuals. Some males who develop enlarged breasts may avoid social situations for fear of judgment or may even develop psychological trauma due to their negative perception of their body.
If you suffer from Gynecomastia, it is important to seek the advice of your family physician to ensure that it is not symptomatic of an underlying condition. It is also crucial to know that you are not alone and there are treatment options available. Contact our clinic today to schedule a complimentary consultation to determine whether you are a candidate for Gynecomastia surgery.
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