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General Information:


The following is drawn from the Gynecomastia Resources page here at Phoenix5 and is not medical advice but provided to help educate men about the condition so they can discuss it with their physicians.

Gynecomastia (sometimes misspelled as gynOcomastia or gynomastia) is a medical term that means an abnormal enlargement of the male breast. There may also be extreme tenderness or soreness before swelling and even without it.

It does occur in a number of men and may also be caused by liver disease and alcoholism as well as some endocrine or testicular failure. It may also occur in young men going through puberty but usually abates as they move out of their adolescence.

It also may seem to appear with obese men but that condition is known as "pseudogynecomastica" which is merely the fatty enlargement of the breasts without glandular proliferation that can be determined by examination.

With men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, it is a possible side effect when the amount of testosterone drops through surgery or hormone treatment. It does not occur in all men but when it does, severity varies widely.

According to the WebMD, "Gynecomastia may be prevented by low-dose radiation to the breasts" but this must be early in the treatment.

According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, most patients require no particular treatment, other than determining if it is drug-induced.
Specific treatment is indicated if there is sufficient pain, embarrassment or emotional discomfort to interfere with the patient's daily life. Chemical treatment with clomiphen (estrogen antagonist), danazol (antigonadoprophic), tamoxifen (antestrogen) and dihydrotestosterone have been attempted and their efficacy remains to be proven. (Ref: Gynecomastia, Glenn D. Braunstein, NEJM, 328;490-494 and article at Canadian Association of Adolescent health Web site.)
However it must be stressed that such drugs may be counter-productive to men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. Consult your physician.

Many plastic surgeons promote the treatment of gynecomastia through cosmetic surgery.

For resources and more information, click here.


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This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at