For women, their breasts might be their greatest asset, if the same thing appears on men, it can be a cause for major embarrassment. Gynaecomastia, has its origin in the Greek language. Gynae means woman, while mastos means breasts. Gynaecomastia orMale Breast Enlargement is defined as the enlargement of male breast glandular tissue and is one of the most common breast problems occurring in males. This condition can be most often seen in young boys or older men.In this series, we will be looking at what gynaecomastia is, what causes it, how it should be diagnosed and managed and how it can be treated.
Epidemiology of Gynaecomastia:
Signs of Gynaecomastia:
The signs actually vary from person to person – in certain cases, there is only a small amount of extra tissue, right around the nipples. However, in the more severe cases, the breasts are truly prominent. It is seen in both breasts, most of the time, but rarely there can be cases, where only one breast is affected. In some cases, the breasts are tender and ache on being touched.
Pathophysiology of Gynaecomastia:
In the female body, it is the presence of oestrogen that leads to the formation of breasts and it is the job of androgens to inhibit the same. It is the ratio of both that is most important and should there be an imbalance, there could be a problem. This imbalance in the ratio normally happens when there is insufficient testosterone or too much oestrogen.
So the main reasons that could lead to gynaecomastia include:
Causes of Gynaecomastia:
There are several causes for gynaecomastia and they can be categorised as:
It might come as a surprise to many, but it is medicines that lead to up to twenty five percent cases of gynaecomastia. Here is a look at some of the medications that could cause the condition:
Some of the other prominent causes of gynaecomastia include: