Gynecomastia: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Think You Have it
- When did I first notice it? Gynecomastia commonly occurs as a response to hormone fluctuations. This can be either due to the body’s own hormone production (i.e. during puberty) or from external sources (i.e. steroids).
- Am I taking anything that may be causing gynecomastia? Most often gynecomastia is physiologic, meaning it occurs at times in a male’s life when they have a natural excess in estrogen. However, there are known drugs and medications that may cause gynecomastia. These include, but are not limited to, anabolic steroids, HGH, anti-seizure medications, some anti-depressants, and specific heart medications. Drugs such as marijuana may have an effect on the development of gynecomastia but a direct link has not been 100% established.
- Do I have any symptoms? Typically gynecomastia does not produce symptoms, but the most common symptom is pain. The pain is usually centered under the areola and can be quite severe in some cases.
- Does it get better or worse with exercise? Typically men with gynecomastia start doing more chest exercises in order to “burn off” the tissue causing gynecomastia. For most med with glandular gynecomastia, doing pectoralis exercise may cause worsening of their gynecomastia because when the pectoralis muscle is made larger with exercise, it pushes the glandular tissue out more.
- Can this be cancer? Although it may be alarming to find a firm lump under the areola, the incidence of male breast cancer is extremely low. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.
To learn more about gynecomastia and to view before and after pictures visit my website at www.drdadvandplasticsurgery.com.