Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. recommends that men seek a professional evaluation from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia if they feel tenderness, pain or have swelling of their breasts. If it is determined that the patient has gynecomastia, caused by fat and breast tissue, no treatment will be required unless the condition is causing psychological distress, in which case surgery may be recommended.
When the surgeon is trying to find the cause of male breast abnormalities some questions asked will be:
• What age did your breasts first develop?
• Are your breasts tender or painful?
• What, if any, supplements do you take?
• Are you now or ever have been on steroids?
• How much alcohol do you consume per day?
• Are you taking any legal or illegal drugs?
Further questioning might be:
• Does anyone in your family have or had breast cancer?
• Do you have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or Klinefelter’s Syndrome?
• Do you have prostate cancer being treated with estrogen?
Depending on your surgeon’s assessment, he/she might want you to see an endocrinologist for further testing.
Both men and women have male and female hormones with their own gender dominate. However, if men should have an increase in estrogen throwing their hormones out of balance, they might start to develop breasts.
The incidence of breast cancer in men is about 1 out of 1,000, and while it is rare, it can occur. The onset of breast cancer in men is usually between the ages of 60 and 70. Symptoms you need to watch for are:
• A lump or fast growing mass on either breast
• Nipple discharge
• Rash on either nipple
If breast cancer is not detected early enough, it can spread to the lymph nodes. Men are less likely than women to get an early diagnosis and therefore when it is discovered it usually is much more advanced and serious.